Filipino terror suspects detail Philippine links to Jemaah Islamiyah

Two Filipino terror suspects told a court on Tuesday that the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah group has funneled funds to local militants and provided them training in bomb-making for planned attacks in the capital. In a signed statement, Malik Alimuddin, 27, said Abu Sayyaf group chief Khaddafy Janjalani and arrested terror suspect Hilarion del Rosario Santos III told him to open a bank account in southern Zamboanga city that was used to bankroll militant operations.

"It was in that account that money from Jemaah Islamiyah and al-Qaida was sent ... as funds by the Abu Sayyaf and the (Rajah Solaiman Movement) for their armed struggle against the government," Alimuddin's statement said.

Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco cited Alimuddin as saying about 10 million pesos (US$181,000; Ђ151,500) was pumped into the account. Velasco said Alimuddin could provide more details when he testifies. Alimuddin was arrested last month at a hide-out in Zamboanga along with Santos, the alleged leader of the Rajah Solaiman Revolutionary Movement, a group accused of having militant links. Santos' wife and five others were also arrested.

Officials said Santos is believed to have worked closely with an Indonesian wanted in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people. "The Abu Sayyaf and the RSM have long-standing ties with Jemaah Islamiyah and al-Qaida," Alamuddin's statement said. "Among the people who trained us in making bombs are foreigners who are members of Jemaah Islamiyah."

A Feb. 14 bus bombing in Manila's financial district was carried out by Rajah Solaiman Movement members on instructions from the Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah, he said, adding that he was with Janjalani and the arrested bombers when they planned the attack.

Alimuddin said that after the bombers were arrested, Santos planned to bomb the court before it issue sentences.

One of the alleged bombers, Gappal Bannah, has also turned state witness. In a statement submitted to the court, he said Santos' detained brother, Tyrone del Rosario, delivered the bombs to him for the attack.

He said the Santos brothers and the other arrested suspects were with him during training in rebel camps in the southern Philippines, reports the AP. I.L.

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