A regional military commander said on Wednesday he has alerted key southern Philippine cities to intelligence reports indicating Al-Qaeda-linked militants could be plotting bomb attacks.
The bombings allegedly planned by the Abu Sayyaf could be aimed at extorting money from businesses or diverting the military's focus from month long US-backed offensives against the rebel group and Indonesian militants on southern Jolo island, Major General Eugenio Cedo said.
Security also needed to be bolstered ahead of the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks, which could encourage terrorists to strike, according to Cedo, head of the military's Western Mindanao Command.
Six marines were killed and 19 others wounded on Monday in one of biggest recent battles against the Abu Sayyaf on Jolo island.
The offensive was prompted by the recent sightings of Abu Sayyaf chieftain Khaddafy Janjalani and two Indonesian militants who are wanted for allegedly helping plan the 2002 bombings in Bali, Indonesia that killed 202 people.