Aug 042013
The Philippine government has intensified intelligence-gathering and target-hardening efforts against terrorism in the wake of a new worldwide alert issued by the US over possible attacks by the al Qaeda terror network.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte on Sunday said the National Security Adviser has told the Palace that such efforts are focused on the targets of these alerts.

“We take into consideration the alert that has been issued. According to the National Security Adviser, we are intensifying our intelligence-gathering to address the issues raised in the alert,” she said on government-run dzRB radio.

Asked if the Philippines has adopted the proper security measures, she said, “Opo, opo, certainly (Yes, yes, certainly).”

However, Valte declined to comment for now on questions on whether a bombing that killed at least eight people in Cagayan de Oro City last July 26 was related to the US worldwide alert.

She also noted the US alert indicates the threat is “directed to western targets.”

“I would not comment on that considering the investigation is still ongoing,” she said.

Valte would also not give details of the security measures.

“We cannot divulge security measures, it’s like telling those who want to do harm, these are the things you should go against,” she said.

On August 2, the US State Department issued a travel alert warning about the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula.

It said its current information suggests that Al Qaeda and affiliated organizations “continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August.”

“Terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests. US citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure. Terrorists have targeted and attacked subway and rail systems, as well as aviation and maritime services.  US citizens should take every precaution to be aware of their surroundings and to adopt appropriate safety measures to protect themselves when traveling,” it added.

The State Department also said it continues to work closely with other nations on the threat from international terrorism, including from al Qaeda.

“Information is routinely shared between the US and our key partners in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats,” it said. — LBG, GMA News

 Leave a Reply