(Eagle News)—-Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday, Aug. 10, said the man who detonated an improvised exposive device in Lamitan, Basilan that killed several people may be a Moroccan national who was reported to have ties with the Abu Sayyaf.
Lorenzana, without naming names, said “mukhang qualifications point that he is the guy, kasi hindi marunong magsalita ng dialect dun.”
Twitter user TerrorMonitor said that Moroccan national Abu Kathir al-Maghribi was the “suicide bomber” who carried out the attack, according to the Islamic State.
According to Lorenzana, a couple who passed by the vehicle carrying the improvised explosive device that exploded and killed 11 people, including the driver on July 31, described the driver as fair and tall.
He added that based on reports, the driver did not know the dialect as he had to use sign language when the van encountered trouble at the checkpoint prior to the blast.
“Sabi ng intelligence 80 percent na siya (Moroccan) ‘yun kasi dun sa mga picture na ‘yun na nakukuha nila sa Jolo,” he said, noting that based on reports from the intelligence company, the foreigner had been trying to recruit suicide bombers within the Abu Sayyaf.
According to Lorenzana, if it was the foreigner who was the culprit, he believed it was not his intention to detonate the bomb at the checkpoint.
He said he believed the target was a Department of Education event, but because the suspect feared he would be arrested, he just detonated the IED.
“Kung siya (Moroccan) nga ‘yun then he was trying to revenge ‘yung pagkamatay ng isang anak niya,” Lorenzana said of the possible motive behind the blast.
He said there were reports the Moroccan national’s child had been killed in an encounter with the military.
“Alam mo naman yang ISIS they can claim anything. Tulad nung sa Resorts World, they claimed that it’s them ‘yun pala Pilipino lang na ayaw papasukin na gustong magsugal,” Lorenzana said.