Philippines: June 28, 2004

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The government announced what many had suspected; that Moslem separatist violence had been much reduced since the truce signed with the MILF last July, and that the MILF was helping the government track down Islamic terrorists. The MILF, or at least the majority of the MILF leadership, decided that they did not want to be associated with al Qaeda and Islamic radicalism, and to prove it, they had to provide some substantial help to the government in hunting down Islamic radicals (mainly from Jemaah Islamiah), operating in the Philippines. The government believes that up to 40 Jemaah Islamiah members are operating in the southern Philippines, training recruits from Abu Sayyaf and the MILF in terrorism techniques. Renegade members of the MILF are attracted to the radicalism of Jemaah Islamiah, and mainstream MILF leaders don't like this threat to their power. 

 

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