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Jemaah Islamiyah plots Manila bombing attempt


COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Local security authorities stipulated that the leader of the Moro group that was to perpetrate bombings to disrupt the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Monday could be the same person trained by Taufik Refque, a Jemaah Islamiya operative.

Intelligence officials are convinced that Montasser Esmael Ali could be Guiday Montassir, who was arrested in 2004 for planting a powerful explosive under the table of a professor in a state college.

Montassir confessed to his ties with Refque, who was said to have trained more than 40 local recruits in his hideout at a subdivision in the San Pablo area from 2001 to 2004.      

Refque, an Indonesian, was arrested near the premises of the Sardonyx Hotel by special operatives from the national headquarters of the Philippine National Police.

Montassir, who was able to post a bail of P200,000 has been at large since his release from detention.

“The surname of that bomber was Montassir while the first name of the alleged leader of the guerilla ordinance group that was to perpetrate bombings while people in Metro Manila were celebrating the Feast of the Black Nazarene is also Montasser, though spelled quite differently,” said a source from the military’s intelligence community.

There are local clerics, among them a preacher in Parang, Maguindanao who are just as certain that Montassir and Montasser are the same person.

“The one arrested in Cotabato City several years ago is a Maguindanaon while the supposed leader of the group that was to carry out the bombings in Metro Manila is also a Maguindanaon,” said one of the Islamic preachers.
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By John Unson Home Updated January 11, 2012 03:10 PM

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