Philippines: Moslems Make Peace, Terrorists Stumble


September 18, 2005: There appear to be at least eleven terrorist groups operating in the Philippines, mostly in the Moslem south. The main ones are as JI and al Qaeda, but also include lesser known groups like  the Abdujarak Janjalani Brigade, the Abu Sayyaf Group, the Alex Boncayao Brigade, the Free Vietnam Revolutionary Group, the Indigenous People's Federal Army and several factions of the MILF ( Moro Islamic Liberation Front). While there have been warning of increased terrorist activity, the attacks have not yet materialized. Last year, there were 51 terrorist attacks, causing over 220 casualties. So far this year, there have been 25 attacks, meaning that terrorist activity is, so far, only two-thirds of what it was last year. 

September 17, 2005: A bomb was found outside a Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) building, and disarmed three hours before it was set to go off (at 7 AM). It was believed this was an attack by drug gangs, not Islamic terrorists. 

September 16, 2005: Government and MILF (Moslem separatist) negotiators finally agreed on the remaining issues standing in the way of a peace deal. The final item resolved was the nature and extent of the  "ancestral domain" of the Moslem people. This was a tricky issue, as it could infringe on existing property rights and the extent of areas controlled by local governments. Moslems once inhabited most of  the southern Philippines, but in the last century, more and more  Christians have moved in, and turned traditional "Moslem" areas into "Christian" ones.

September 12, 2005: An  ammunition storage bunker at a police base in the capital exploded. No one was killed, and it turned out to be an accident, not a terrorist attacks. The base contains a prison for captured Islamic terrorists.


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