Suicide bombers in Jolo attack were militants’ widows

The 2 female suicide bombers behind the Jolo twin blasts that killed at least 14 and injured at least 75 were the same bombers being tracked by the team of Army intelligence officers slain last June by local police.

In a text message to reporters, Army chief Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana identified the two suicide bombers as the following

  • Alias Nanah - wife of late Normal Lasuca, who was identified as the first Filipino suicide bomber. She was believed to be from Basilan.
  • Alias Inda Nay - wife of late Abu Talha, who was identified as the Abu Sayyaf's liaison to the Islamic State (ISIS) who was killed during a firefight with soldiers. She was believed to be from Sulu

In another text message, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief Major General Corleto Vinluan Jr said both women appeared to look like Filipinos based on witness accounts, but this has to be confirmed through DNA tests.

"The two female suicide bombers are the same targets being tracked by the group of Maj Indammog before they were killed by policemen on June 29, 2020," Sobejana said.

He was referring to Army intelligence officer Major Marvin Indammog, the team leader of the 4 military intel officers killed by local Jolo and Sulu anti-drug policemen in late June after they were stopped at a checkpoint.

Why does this matter?

This is the first official confirmation that the deadly explosions were what the slain intel officers were trying to prevent.

Before the explosion even occurred, the military was forced to disclose that the team was in Jolo to look for female suicide bombers. The police accused the soldiers of acting rogue and attempted to shoot at the cops when they were stopped.

The June shooting incident now being probed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has uncovered through interviews with witnesses that the intel officers showed little to no signs of resistance and did not carry firearms before they were killed by policemen.

On the contrary, the NBI said, witnesses said that the police appeared to be more aggressive against the soldiers before the shooting incident. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.