MANILA, Philippines – A video in the form of an online tutorial posted last Monday exposed the alleged plan of ISIS supporters to target the Miss Universe pageant which is set to be staged in the country next year.
The tutorial was a step-by-step explanation of how to make a suicide bomb. One disturbing comment poster suggested to “create bomb for miss universe.”
Additional information from the said footage revealed that contacts of the militant group in the country plan to manufacture a bomb to target “foreigners whose nations have taken part in the ongoing campaign against ISIS.”
The video first caught the attention of US-based intelligence agency, SITE Intel Group, an organization that tracks online activities of notorious terrorist groups.
— SITE Intel Group (@siteintelgroup) August 8, 2016
The information was later on forwarded to the authorities in the country for further investigation.
Although the authenticity of the video has not yet been verified, the Armed Forces of the Philippines promised to take the threat seriously.
AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo released a statement on Friday, stressing that: “As in any threats, whether verified or not, it behooves the AFP—in coordination with the PNP (Philippine National Police) and other counterpart agencies—to take appropriate measures to counter the threats,”
However, Arevalo maintained that, “there is no ISIS in the Philippines.”
He emphasized that there are no confirmed contacts of the terrorist group in the country.
“What we have are groups claiming affiliations with ISIS in their bid to draw funds. It is not farfetched for ISIS to claim to have cells in the Philippines to show global membership”, he added.
Nonetheless, the threat did not dishearten the Department of Tourism (DOT) and asserted that the country is ready to host and hold the Miss Universe pageant next year.
Col. Arevalo encouraged Filipinos to remain vigilant.