COMMANDOS from the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force yesterday foiled a planned bombing by the Abu Sayyad Group in Zamboanga City following the arrest of one of its members tasked to carry out the terror plan.
Nabbed was Omar Mabanza according to PNP-SAF director Maj. Gen. Edgar Alan O. Okubo.
The suspect was arrested at Sitio Sapa Dulian, Bgy. Kalabasa, Zamboanga City around 5:10 a.m. yesterday .
Seized from the suspect were one tin container and a leather bag found containing one time fuse, a detonating cord, a blasting cap, a tin can containing suspected improvised explode device mixed with scrap metals and a concrete nail, an improvised mechanical time fuse, one 9-bolt battery, and eight pieces of 7.6mm ammunition link.
Members of the SAF’s 84th, 85th and 55th Special Action Companies launched the operation together with officers from the Zamboanga City Police Office, the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission and the Army’s 74th Infantry Battalion.
According to Okubo, the early dawn raid particularly targeted a group of Abu Sayyaf terrorists led by Jomar Mohammad who were monitored to have arrived in the city to carry out a bombing plot.
“Mohammad and other members of the group managed to escape but Mabanza, who was found carrying the IED materials, was captured during the operation,” the PNP-SAF director said.
Authorities monitored a plan by the Abu Sayyaf to detonate a bomb in the city to create a diversion as their other members try to rescue high-profile ASG inmates Abu Sari and Sahid Alip who are currently serving their prison term at the San Ramon Penal Colony.
The foiled Abu Sayyaf plot triggered an increased security alert in the prison colony, as well as other “soft targets” in the city and other parts of Western Mindanao, including bus terminals, airports, seaports, churches, public markets and shopping malls.