‘Bomber casually walked towards the bar’

Karlos Manlupig
Witnesses say the couple walked away without any hint of alarm

THE BAR. A security guard of the bar and restaurant where Mohd Noor Fikrie Bin Abd Kahar was shot dead by local police forces points to the spot where the bomber died. Photo by Karlos Manlupig

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Despite being chased by local security forces, suspected Malaysian Jemaah Islamiyah bomber Mohd Noor Fikrie Bin Abd Kahar and his Filipina wife Anabelle Lee, casually walked toward a crowded bar and restaurant on Friday evening, December 14, witnesses said.

An employee of SoundBox bar where Kahar attempted to detonate the bomb said he saw the couple walking without giving any hint of alarm or threat.

“Kahar directly went to the entrance of the bar. We saw nothing alarming,” the employee, who asked not to be named, said.

“Suddenly one of the guards stationed outside shouted to the female guard who was at the entrance of the bar. He told the female guard not to let Kahar enter the crowded bar. There were more than a hundred people inside the bar that time,” the employee narrated.

The employee added they later learned the guard outside was asked by police forces to warn the people inside the bar that they were chasing Kahar.

“Fortunately, the lady guard was able to close the door and at the same time the police forces immediately shot Kahar,” the employee said.

“His wife was later caught hiding inside the kitchen,” the employee added.

The chase ensued after responding state security forces failed to arrest the couple at the hotel lobby when Kahar threatened to detonate the bomb.

Senior Supt Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the Davao City Police Office, said combined forces from the local police, Task Force Davao, and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency responded to arrest the suspects after an intelligence report from “very reliable sources” confirmed the couple was in the city for a bombing operation. 

EXPLOSIVE DEVICE. SPOI Marcial Aplasca, ordnance specialist of the Davao City Police Office, shows the construct of the improvised explosive device recovered from a suspected Malaysian Jemaah Islamiyah member who was shot dead by local security forces in Davao City on Friday evening. Photo by Karlos Manlupig

DANGER. What it's made of. Photo by Karlos Manlupig

Dela Rosa said the objective of the couple was to sow terror in crowded places.

“I do not want to speculate but the target is most likely on places where people converge,” the police chief said.

Dela Rosa also appealed to Jemaah Islamiyah and other terrorist organizations to stop inflicting damage and suffering on civilians. – Rappler.com