9/14/11 Philippines (ABS CBN News) - A police official on Wednesday linked terror suspect Basit Usman to a series of bombings happening in Cotabato City and other areas in Mindanao. Intelligence reports also reveal that 3 more improvised explosive devices (IEDs) will be planted in Cotabato and have yet to go off.
Usman is believed by the police as the bomb expert of a certain Marwan who is a member of Jemaah Islamiyah.
He said the reports indicate that the next target could be one of the three Catholic churches in Cotabato City including the Archbishop House along Sinsuat Ave.
The three churches that are believed to be targeted are the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Rosary Heights Parish, and Queen of Peace Parish.
"We are no securing the three churches including the Bishops palace," Khu said.
He revealed that they are looking for nine more IEDs believed to have been manufactured by Usman and ready for deployment in other areas outside of Cotabato City. "We are having a game with this group," he said. Police believe the motive behind the bombings is to sow terror due to recent developments in the leadership of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
They are anticipating more bombings to be done in the next few days or weeks since, according to the local police here, there is a high possibility that these improvised explosive devices are being slipped into Cotabato via the river channels in Mindanao unseen by the road checkpoints set up by both the military and the police.