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Manila - Philippines: Leaked Police Memo on Heightened Terrorist Threat

Manila is expected to face a heightened security threat until the end of Ramadan on 24 Jun 2017. A leaked Philippine National Police (PNP) memo dated on 16 Jun 2017 contained an unverified notice of alleged plans by the Islamic State-affiliated Maute Group to bomb two malls in Quezon City, and other areas at Quezon City Circle, Quiapo in Manila, and Makati City.

PNP National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Regional Director Oscar Albayalde later explained that the leaked memo was intended for validation, rather than dissemination. His comments were reinforced by the PNP’s affirmation that Metro Manila was not facing an imminent terror threat, and that there were adequate security forces in place to handle the relevant threats.

Despite these assurances, there are several indicators suggesting that the threat IS poses to the region might have has seemingly risen to a new baseline. Such indicators include heightened terror attacks in recent months; IS becoming increasingly desperate as it loses the battle in Syria and Iraq; as well as IS’s increased activity overseas as reflected by its attack on Iran.

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