Government forces are now in pursuit operations against a splinter group of Moro rebels. Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Colonel Restituto Padilla said on Wednesday that Justice For Islamic Movement separated from Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters due to ideological differences.
Justice For Islamic Movement has an estimated 70 fighters headed by a former BIFF commander Mohammad Ali Tambako. The group is believed to be the protector of Basit Usman and his five foreign cohorts, four Indonesian and an Arab-looking individual.
Padilla said it is also possible that Usman could have taught some members of the JIM in the art of bomb-making and handling as Tambako’s group was the one operating the improvised explosive device factory which was captured and destroyed by the military last March 1.
The AFP spokesman did not discount the possibility that the JFIM is providing bombs to BIFF.