Philippines: December 3, 2004

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The MILF is now assisting the Philippine government against Abu Sayyaf. The leader of the al-Qaeda affiliate has reportedly fled to Malaysia. With a $178,316 bounty on him from the Philippine government and a $5 million bounty from the U.S. government, and with the Philippine military ready to focus its attention solely on Abu Sayyaf fleeing is probably his only viable option. Otherwise, he will likely end up captured or neutralized like Munap Manialah, a senior member who was killed in a firefight with Philippine troops on November 27 who were responding to tips from civilians who will probably split a $6,241 bounty the Philippine government placed on him. The MILF is trying to abide by its peace deal with the government, which allows the government to focus exclusively on Abu Sayyaf. Harold C. Hutchison (hchutch@ix.netcom.com)

 

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