5th suspect in failed bombing near US Embassy arrested
A fifth suspect in the failed bombing near the United States Embassy in Manila last year has been arrested, Philippine National Police (PNP) announced on Tuesday.
PNP Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa presented the suspect, Nasip Ibrahim, 35, an alleged member of the Maute terrorist group, in Camp Crame.
“PNP has foiled another sinister attempt by ISIS-inspired Maute group to launch terrorist activities,” Dela Rosa said.
The suspect was the driver who allegedly arranged the accommodations for those who planned the US Embassy bombing. He allegedly gave safe haven to other suspects in the bombing attempt on Nov. 28, 2016.
Elements of Quezon City Police District (QCPD) arrested Ibrahim inside the Salam Compound in Barangay Culiat Monday evening.
Seized from him were two caliber .45 pistol, a submachine gun, seven sachets of suspected shabu and an improvised explosive device (IED) made from a 60-mm mortar.
“Apparently, itong nakuha na mortar shell was supposed to be used doon sa naganap na Traslacion at Ms. Universe. That’s why we had that threat during that period,” National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde said.
Albayalde said the threats were the reasons behind the deployment of more than 4,000 policemen to this year’s Traslacion, and more than 1,800 policemen to the Miss Universe coronation night in Pasay.
“I am glad that alert operatives of the NCRPO discovered and intercepted in time an improvised explosive device being prepared by the suspects even before it can be delivered to its possible target or used elsewhere,” Dela Rosa said.
The suspects planted the first bomb, made of a mortar round, at Rizal Park on Nov. 28. When it failed to detonate, they retrieved it, replaced the triggering device with a cell phone, and looked for another place to plant the bomb.
They then left it on Roxas Boulevard, some 200 meters from the US Embassy, where it again failed to explode.
The third suspect, Mohammad Jumao-as, who was arrested last December 4, led police to the location of the second bomb, which was buried in a muddy field in Bulakan, Bulacan.
READ: Third suspect in US Embassy bomb scare arrested | PNP arrests 4th suspect, finds 2nd bomb in Manila terror plot
The IED seized from Ibrahim was the third bomb seized by the police from the group. CBB