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Al-Qaeda-linked extremists under military siege in the Philippines have obtained fresh funding through the popular video-sharing website YouTube, police said on Monday.
But they said they had so far prevented the Abu Sayyaf group, responsible for some of the worst terror attacks in the Philippines, from using the funds to launch fresh bombing attacks in the country.
The government's National Intelligence Coordinating Agency has obtained "significant reports of new money received by the Abu Sayyaf's financial network" on the southern island of Mindanao," police spokesman Chief Superintendent Samuel Pagdilao said in a statement.
"The money arrived after the (group) uploaded on the Internet the video of the late Janjalani brothers (Abdurajak Janjalani and Khadaffy Janjalani, both slain in police and military operations) seeking material and financial support," Pagdilao added.
The source of the funding was undisclosed. The intelligence agency said the Abu Sayyaf had plotted to attack the Roman Catholic religious festival of Fiesta Pilar in the southern port of Zamboanga on October 12 "to inflict mass casualties," Pagdilao said in a statement.
The religious festival was held without incident, police said Monday. Military operations in area have led to the death or capture of a number of Abu Sayyaf militants over the past year.
The main target of the operations are Dulmatin and Umar Patek, two key members of Jemaah Islamiyah, the Abu Sayyaf ally behind the deadly Bali bombings in neighbouring Indonesia. Both groups are said to be linked to Al-Qaeda.