RealNews

Manila Working to Thwart Militants' Attack Plans

The Philippines has reinforced security at possible targets ahead of a visit by U.S. President George W. Bush and shares Australian concern that it faces threats from foreign militants, the military said on Thursday. Australian Defence Minister Robert Hill said the regional Jemaah Islamiah (JI) militant group could increasingly turn its attention to the Philippines because it offered a plethora of targets such as Western-style clubs, hotels and multinational businesses. JI, blamed for the nightclub bombings that killed 202 people on the Indonesian island of Bali in October last year, is suspected of close ties to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network. “We are presently identifying possible targets and we have actually beefed up our security in some of these soft targets, like embassies, malls, clubs and hotels,” Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel Lucero, a military spokesman, told reporters. “This is one of our concerns, particularly now that the U.S. president is scheduled to arrive in the country next week.” Full Story

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