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Friday, March 31, 2006

Al Qaeda related Abu Sayyaf plot to seize passenger ship uncovered in the Philippines


Reported here:
Authorities have uncovered Friday a supposed plot by the al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group to seize passenger ships and take hostage their passengers in Mindanao, officials said.

Officials did not say how the plot was discovered, but a report by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (Nica) in Northern Mindanao claimed the Abu Sayyaf was also planning to hostage the passengers.

"We ordered tightened security in all passenger ships in Northern Mindanao. We have contingency measures, and are ready to address any situation. We cannot rule out the possibility of a terror attack after the recent bombing in Jolo," regional police chief Florante Baguio said.

The report identified the leader of an 11-member Abu Sayyaf team that would carry out the hijacking as Abu Awillah, and that among the targeted were ferry vessels sailing from Manila to Mindanao.

Baguio said the police have intensified their intelligence operation to track down members of the terrorist group in the region.
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