The female suicide bomber who died after detonating a bomb outside a military camp in Indanan, Sulu, on Sunday was part of the group of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Hajan Sawadjaan, Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said Tuesday.
He said security forces were monitoring 60 more possible foreign terrorists operating in Mindanao.
“The indication is that she is part of the group of Sawadjaan," Arevalo said in a radio interview.
Sawadjaan was earlier tagged as the mastermind and financier of the Jan. 27 Jolo Cathedral bombing that killed 23 people and injured more than 100 others.
In other developments:
Malacañang on Tuesday raised concern over another suicide bombing on a military detachment in Mindanao, the third incident in the country this year.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the defense capabilities of the government should improve to avoid a repeat of similar incidents in the future.
“It’s a matter of concern, of course. Anything that will show a rise in terrorism in any area of this country is always a matter of concern, and we hope our security will improve more on their devices to stop this,” Panelo told reporters.
The suicide bomb attack on a military camp Sunday is an indication of the Abu Sayyaf Group’s desperation to sow fear among Sulu residents because of its dwindling membership.
This was according to Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., Joint Task Force Sulu commander who said it was ironic that the ASG was projecting to be a Muslim advocate for change but practicing acts forbidden by the Muslim faith. Arevalo said.Arevalo said the military was now conducting DNA testing to confirm the nationality of the suicide bomber.
“The early impression is that she is Caucasian. But that will still have to be confirmed,” he said.
Arevalo said the Indanan attack was the second incident involving a female suicide bomber, noting the Jolo Cathedral blast was carried out by an Indonesian couple.
He said the military had confirmed the entry of at least seven foreign terrorists in Mindanao and was monitoring 60 other possible terrorists.
“We are doing focused contact operations. We want to prevent a spillover as well as prevent the entry of other foreign terrorists,” Arevalo said. With MJ Blancaflor and PNA