Terrorist group ISIS is reportedly plotting to bomb the upcoming Miss Universe 2017, which will be held in Manila, Philippines in January, according to news released in a secretive jihadi social media site, as reported by The Foreign Desk.
Although the exact location of the world’s most prestigious pageant is yet to be announced, Miss Universe has already awarded the hosting rights to the Philippines last month. The reigning Miss Universe is Ms. Philippines Pia Wurtzback.
A video released online showing how to carry a suicide bombing referred to a possible attack during the next Miss Universe pageant. Over the past few months, ISIS has built a stronghold and support base in South East Asia, The Sun reported.
ISIS in Philippines
The southern Philippine island of Mindanao is home to Muslims Filipinos. The Philippines has been experiencing local extremism for decades now, especially in the southernmost part of the country where local terrorist groups such as Abu Sayyaf dwell. The counterterrorism organization Site Intel Group also tweeted about the ISIS scare in the Philippines.
The threat has caused fear among the followers of the pageant not only in the Philippines but across the world. The pageant is expected to draw thousands of foreign tourists and VIPs during the event.
Miss Universe 2016 Venue
Meanwhile, local organizers of the pageant are yet to pick and announce the official venue of the event. But aside from possible threats to security, traffic congestion in the country’s capital is another concern, Manila-based news website Rappler reported.
“The maddening traffic mess is obviously the one single problem that besets our daily economic activities in Metro Manila, and we will find ways so as not to aggravate this with the hosting of Miss Universe,” said Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Teo as quoted by Rappler.