According to Philippine Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz Jr., local terrorists are now capable of making sophisticated bombs similar to those used by the al-Qaeda. He said security forces had thwarted a "potentially lethal" terror campaign when they captured a bomb-making factory this week in a camp run by the Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah in the jungles of Sulu.
The troops seized several sophisticated homemade explosives with "close similarities" to those used in the Middle East and Afghanistan. One bomb, already armed, had electronic anti-tamper sensors and was loaded with hundreds of 8 mm. ball bearings "designed to kill anyone within a 150-meter kill zone," Cruz said. Another device in a plastic bottle showed their capability to produce liquid bombs.
Last month, the military launched a U.S.-backed offensive targeting top Abu Sayyaf leaders, including Khadaffy Janjalani and two alleged members of Jemaah Islamiyah — Umar Patek and Dulmatin — who are believed to be hiding out with Moro rebels and are both wanted in the 2002 Bali bombings.