AFP WARNS VS. LUZON-BASED ISLAMIC TERROR GROUP

Manila, March 16, 2003 -- The AFP Northern Luzon Command yesterday reported to Malacaņang that an Islamic radical group in Central and Northern Luzon, which is connected with the Abu Sayyaf and Moro Islamic Liberation Front, is planning terrorist attacks in Luzon.

Col. Romeo Dominguez of the Nolcom said the Rajah Sulayman Movement was found by joint AFP-PNP intelligence operatives to be operating in Tarlac and Pangasinan in May 2002.

Dominguez said Tarlac police killed an alias Khalid near a bus terminal. Khalid's companion, Dexter Mayuno alias Omar, was arrested.

He said the two were said to be on a test mission to steal a motorcycle to be used in a planned kidnapping.

He said follow-up investigation and raids in Anda, Pangasinan, and San Clemente, Tarlac, led to caches of firearms and the arrest of more members of the group.

He said last March 12, Mariano Lomarda, a "balik-Islam" leader, was arrested in Taguig for allegedly planning to launch bombing attacks in strategic areas in Metro Manila.

He said interrogation of suspects showed that RSM aims to establish an Islamic city in Luzon where Sharia law will be imposed.

He said Ahmed Islam del Rosario Santos of Anda leads the RSM.

He said there is evidence that Ahmed Islam Santos made direct contact with and received support from MILF chair Hashim Salamat while Sheik Omar Lavila alias Ruben, a member of the RSM central committee, received support from ASG through Khadafy Janjalani. Omar was reportedly a classmate of Khadafy in college at the Mindanao State University.

He said the RSM members were monitored casing a National Power Corp. plant in Sual, Pangasinan, in April 25, 2002.

He said an RSM team, led by Abdul Hakim and Anis Trinidad, planned to attack the installation with rockets and a toy plane loaded with explosives. (By REGINA BENGCO, Malaya)


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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