Zambo cops remain on full alert, keep eye on ISIS links PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 11:54

Security forces in Zamboanga City have not lowered their guards and neither will they in the days to come as threats from terrorist groups remain high, according to City Police director Sr. Supt. Angelito Casimiro.

“The situation in Zamboanga City is still on full and high alert status and we are continuously deliberating on information from the intelligence community,” Supt. Casimiro told the weekly press briefing in City Hall Monday.

He said the Abu Sayyaf Group remains the No.1 threat to the city’s peace and order, but he added that the local police and the intelligence community are monitoring the group’s movement.

The city police director also said they are looking seriously at the recent bomb attacks and other terrorist activities in Basilan, considering the city’s proximity to the island province.

Asked whether or not the police have monitored any local extremist group wanting to be affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Casimiro said there may be some groups that want to join the ISIS “but we have no official report on the matter as of this time yet.”

This, following an observation by a local businessman that Zamboanga City can be an easy target of the ISIS.

“There are groups that would like to affiliate with the ISIS and we are looking at it seriously as these groups belong to known terrorist groups like the ASG and the BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters). So we will continue to do the fusion of our intelligence information and validate it,” Casimiro said, but he neither confirmed nor deny the presence of ISIS affiliates in the city.

He admitted though there are groups in the island provinces that would like to be part of the ISIS.

In Basilan, Unkaya Pukan Mayor Joel Maturan told DXNO Radio Station Manager Richard Falcatan that the ASG and BIFF that had already declared their support to ISIS are currently recruiting young Muslims, promising them money and  firearms. — Vic Larato