Philippine authorities detained three men linked to the smuggling Tuesday of 200 kilos of high-grade French ammonium nitrate, used by local terrorists in the manufacture of homemade bombs. Police, backed by soldiers, intercepted the shipment from a Filipino ferry, that came from Jolo Island, where troops are battling members of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group.
"We have intelligence report about this shipment and security forces had been alerted about the arrival of the ship. We are still investigating whether this cargo is owned by the Abu Sayyaf or Jemaah Islamiya. We also have intelligence reports that a shipment of ammunition is also on its way to Zamboanga from Jolo," said Maj. Frank Clavecillas, the port police commander.
The ammonium nitrate, marked "Made in France," were in eight bags hidden under fish crates. It is the first time authorities have seized ammonium nitrate that was manufactured in France and smuggled into Jolo. Most of the previous shipments that have been intercepted were manufactured in Malaysia and Indonesia.