Military cannot confirm if Sulu suicide bomber is Egyptian
The chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) said the alleged presence of Egyptian bombers in Sulu is not yet validated.
"I don't have such information. We are doing our best to find out with our intelligence operatives and our network. That information is not yet validated...," said Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana.
"None so far," he added when asked if the military monitored the alleged presence of two Egyptian bombers in Sulu.
In a statement, Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo, the Armed Forces of the Philippines ( AFP) spokesman said: "We have no information on the alleged Egyptian couple in cahoots with local terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group in IED explosions in Sulu (as what was reportedly revealed by an 'academic analyst on terrorism'.)
In a forum in Quezon City, security analyst Rommel Banlaoi said the Egyptian bombers were instructed by the Islamic State to conduct bombing operation in the Philippines.
"That's based on our intelligence information. They are here to really carry out the instruction of the Islamic state to conduct intermittent bombing operations in the Philippines and to encourage the locals to conduct suicide bombings as their most effective weapons for jihad," he said.
"This Egyptian couple is very related with the Indonesian couple who mounted the suicide attack in Jolo Cathedral last year," he added.
Banlaoi said the Egyptian bombers were being coddled by the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.
"They are being coddled by Abu Sayyaf Group headed by Sawadjaan, Hajan Sawadjaan," he said.
Banlaoi could not say when the two Egyptians arrived in the country but he said they were here before the bombing of Jolo Cathedral early this year.
"We do not know when they arrived but they were already here even before the Jolo bombing, even before the Indanan, Sulu, Jolo Cathedral bombing on January," he said. Robina Asido/DMS