MOROCCAN NATIONAL? | DND: Bomber possibly targeting DepEd event
7 months ago
(AUGUST 10, 2018) – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says it’s possible that the suspect in the Lamitan, Basilan bombing last July 31 is targeting a Department of Education event involving 4,000 kids.
Lorenzana says their intelligence group uncovered a bombing plot by terrorist group Abu Sayyaf on the same day.
“We suspect that this guy was trying to bring his van… sa may plaza kasi magkakaroon ng graduation ang DepEd feeding program,” he said. “We suspect na ‘yong target talaga nila ay ‘yong mga bata.”
The bomber’s nationality is still unconfirmed, but Lorenzana says intelligence is “80 percent sure” that the suspect is the Moroccan national that allegedly tried to recruit suicide bombers from Abu Sayyaf.
The intelligence community garnered photos of a “foreign-looking” guy with two children believed to be his kids in Sulu, which Lorenzana believes matches the description of the bomber.
According to a couple on board a motorcycle that passed by the area moments before the explosion, the van had an engine failure as it was approaching the checkpoint. The couple then helped the driver push the van to jumpstart the engine.
However, the couple grew suspicious and immediately proceeded to the scout ranger headquarters about two kilometers away when they saw containers with wirings at the back of the van.
“About 50 meters away, pumutok na ‘yong van. Kasi nandoon na ‘yong driver, nasa manubela na sya. Sa lakas noong bomba, only the engine block remained,” Lorenzana said, recounting the couple’s narrative of the incident.
But he is still counting out the suspect is a suicide bomber.