The Philippines military said on Friday it was taking seriously what it believed was a call by ISIS militants for an attack on the Miss Universe contest being held in the country next year.
The military said a recent bomb-making video posted on social media, apparently by ISIS militants in the Middle East, carried a message in Arabic script reading: “create bomb for Miss Universe”. The pageant is due to be held in the capital, Manila, in January. “We are taking the threat seriously,” armed forces spokesman Colonel Edgard Arevalo told reporters, though adding that authorities had yet to establish the authenticity of the video or determine its source.
The Philippines says there are no ISIS militants in the country although the group has accepted, in a video message, the allegiance of a notorious Philippine militant group known as Abu Sayyaf.
The Ministry of Tourism, which helps organise the Miss Universe pageant, was not alarmed by the threat, said ministry spokeswoman Ina Zara-Loyola. The government was confident the army and police were “more than capable in ensuring the public safety and security”, she said.