Islamic State 'calls on jihadis to target Miss World competition in Philippines'
Published 09/08/2016 | 12:17
Islamic State terrorists have called for attacks at the Miss World competition due to be held in the Philippines in January 2017, according to online threats.
A branch of the terror network called on “everyone who can” to launch attacks at the event, according to reports of posts on a social media channel used by jihadis in the Philippines.
One of the posts included an online tutorial that explained how to make a suicide bomb.
Addressing “brothers who love martyrdom,” the author said “everyone who can” should launch attacks at the event. It was not possible to verify the reports.
The location for Miss World 2017 has yet to be announced, but current champion, Filipino-German model Pia Wurtzbach, is likely to attend.
Miss Wurtzbach was crowned after extraordinary scenes at the contest in December 2015. The host, Steve Harvey, announced Ariadna Gutiérrez Arevalo, Miss Colombia, as the winner - and then realised he had read the card incorrectly. The crown was taken off Miss Arevalo's head and placed on Miss Wurtzbach's.
The beauty pageant was last held in the Philippines in 1994.
The threat from Isil has been growing in the country. Abu Sayyaf, an insurgent group fighting for a hardline Islamist state in the southern Philippines, has pledged allegiance to Isil.
Two Canadians were murdered by the group earlier this year.
Abu Sayyaf has its roots in the long-standing Islamist insurgency in the southern islands of the predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines, and has focused its operations on lucrative banditry.
The faction – a loose alliance of splinter groups – has survived the deployment of US special forces “advisors” as part of George W Bush’s “war on terror” and a series of offensives by the poorly-equipped Philippine army.