Report details a plot to attack Philippine presidential palace

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — MANILA, Philippines - A notorious Islamic militant arrested in May has confessed to police that he plotted to attack the Philippine presidential palace using Arab suicide bombers, according to a confidential police report of his interrogation.

Mukhlis Yunos, a suspect with links to Jemaah Islamiah, a Southeast Asia terror network, said he was on his way to Manila to prepare for the attacks when he was arrested with a co-conspirator, an Egyptian businessman, according to a copy of the report obtained by the Los Angeles Times.


It was unclear whether Yunos and his associates had the capability and resources to pull off such an attack.

Details of the alleged bomb plot emerged as Southeast Asian authorities grapple with increasing activity by suspected terrorists.


In Indonesia this month, police arrested nine suspected Jemaah Islamiah members and seized weapons and enough explosives to make a device more powerful than the car bomb used in an attack Oct. 12 on a Bali nightclub, which killed 202 people. Police said the group planned to blow up churches and assassinate five prominent Indonesians.

The Manila plot disclosed by Yunos called for placing a fertilizer-based bomb in a gas tanker truck and having a suicide bomber drive it onto the grounds of the Malacanang presidential palace, according to the interrogation report.

Before his capture in May, the 37-year-old Yunos was one of the Philippines' most wanted terror suspects.

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.