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Esperon: Filipino in alleged Al Qaeda plot nabbed

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Embassies, VIP’s targeted

By Joel Guinto
First Posted 13:14:00 03/11/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Security forces have arrested a returning Filipino who is allegedly part of a plot by Al Qaeda-linked extremists to attack embassies and high-profile personalities, the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines said Tuesday.

The suspect was arrested on Monday, upon his return to the country, General Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said, without giving further details so as not to scuttle follow-up pursuit operations.

“We arrested one [suspect] yesterday,” Esperon told reporters in Malacañang. “He has come from another country. [He is] Filipino.”

Esperon said the Filipino suspect is aside from three foreign terror suspects who have been arrested since January.

“They are definitely Al Qaeda-linked…They were supposed to bomb some embassies and they were out to take direct actions against our VIPs [very important persons],” Esperon said.

“That is very probable that [the targets] include the President,” the military chief said, when asked if President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was among the targets.

Esperon said the foreign suspects were collecting funds for their alleged plot when they were arrested.

Last month, security forces revealed an alleged plot by Jemaah Islamiyah, the South East Asian arm of Al-Qaeda, to assassinate the President.

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Written by joelguinto

TueUTC2008-03-11T08:02:09+00:00UTC03bUTCTue, 11 Mar 2008 08:02:09 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am03

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