Philippines: Mad Men

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June 27, 2008: Filipino commanders give credit to U.S. Special Forces and intelligence analysts, for the damage done to Islamic terrorists throughout the country over the last seven years. What the U.S. troops have done is transfer tactics, techniques and technology that worked in Israel and Iraq, to the Philippines. The Filipinos were eager to get this stuff, because they knew it was working in Israel and Iraq. Basically it was a system where key terrorist leaders and technicians were identified, and hunted down. By concentrating on the key people, and things like their funding and supplies (of key items, like weapons and bomb making materials), the terrorist organizations are reduced to scattered groups of bandits, who have to survive on criminal activity, instead of running around the country carrying out terrorist acts. The U.S. troops brought with them the electronic eavesdropping gear, and the data mining software, as well as Special Forces troops who could teach the latest counter-terrorism techniques. Abu Sayyaf also sought to bring Iraqi and Palestinian terrorism techniques to the Philippines, failing to note that these had failed in their countries of origin. That's a common characteristic of Islamic terrorism; ignoring reality.

June 26, 2008: MILF is having increasing problems with rebellious factions. Overall, the MILF sees a peace deal as necessary. But many local conditions, and personalities (rebel faction leaders) create areas where fighting continues. Sometimes it's just a village, or a group of villages, where a dozen or so independent minded MILF gunmen do as they please.

June 25, 2008: For the sixth time this year, the navies of the Philippines and Malaysia held joint training exercises. The two navies have also developed communications procedures making it easy for ships of each force to easily communicate with each other.

June 18, 2008: Abu Sayyaf tried to avoid financial sanctions by forming another group, the Rajah Solaiman Movement, which has now been targeted for international sanctions and monitoring by U.S. intelligence agencies. Some say the Rajah Solaiman Movement evolved separately, having been formed by Filipino Christians who converted to Islam, and then allied itself with Abu Sayyaf because of shared interests.

June 17, 2008: A TV crew was released in Jolo, after payment of a ransom. A local village leader, and several of his friends, were arrested for planning the June 8 kidnapping. The TV reporter admitted she had been unwise to visit Jolo and believe locals who said they could get an interview with an Abu Sayyaf leader.  

 

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