Philippines: No More Silence

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March 21, 2007: The government is trying to track down 24 Palestinians from Jordan, who have been using false documents to stay in the country and run a lucrative Internet based crime operation. The Palestinians entered the country illegally in the 1990s, and have managed to avoid detection for a long time. Some members of this group have family, or business, connections with al Qaeda. The Philippines has long been the kind of place where you could come in, pay off the right people, and go about your illegal business for a long time, at least if you didn't make any noise locally.

March 20, 2007: In the south, police found and disarmed a terrorist bomb. The design of the bomb was similar to others constructed by Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) bomb builders. The JI terrorists have been showing Filipino Islamic terrorists how to build better bombs.

March 19, 2007: Over the weekend, MILF rebels bombed several electrical transmission towers in the south. The MILF has been extorting "revolutionary taxes" from the electric company. The MILF says that a breakaway faction has been doing this. There are more and more breakaway factions acting up down south.

March 17, 2007: The search for the remaining four Abu Sayyaf leaders continues. The army believes that these men, and their JI allies, have not fled Jolo or Sulu, and the 10,000 soldiers and marines continue their patrols. The increase in tips from local Moslems indicates that popular opinion sees Abu Sayyaf as finished. In the past, the Islamic terrorists could scare locals into keeping silent. No more.

 

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