Philippines: Islamic Terrorists Desperately Seek Outside Help

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July 30, 2009: Intelligence efforts have revealed attempts by Abu Sayyaf to get emergency financial aid from Islamic charities and radical groups in the Middle East. Yasser Igasan, the current Abu Sayyaf leader, was schooled as a cleric in Saudi Arabia, and has many contacts that can put him in touch with other Islamic radical groups that might help out. The military expects to wipe out Abu Sayyaf by the end of the year. This is a possibility that the Abu Sayyaf apparently takes seriously, as they are very depleted from over a year of being pursued by several elite units (Scout Rangers and Marines), assisted by American Special Forces and electronic intelligence specialists.

July 28, 2009: In the south, fighting has broken out between two clan based MILF factions. There are several hundred casualties from at least three days of fighting. Nearly 10,000 people have fled their homes to avoid the gunfire. Meanwhile, the MILF and the government have agreed to resume peace talks.

July 27, 2009: In the south, an NPA mine left two soldiers dead and five wounded.

July 25, 2009: The MILF also suspended military operations. The MILF broke a five year truce last August, after appeals courts overturned a peace deal the MILF favored. The fighting that ensued largely went against the MILF. Meanwhile, bomb sniffing dogs found twelve bombs on a ferry, before it left a port 120 kilometers southeast of the capital. Police has received a tip that there might be a bombing on the ferry to upstage an upcoming presidential speech.

July 24, 2009: On Basilan, Abu Sayyaf gunmen killed five Moslem civilians.

July 23, 2009: The government ordered a suspension of military operations against the MILF, in an effort to get peace talks going again. Excluded are rogue MILF members who are engaging in criminal activity. Meanwhile, communist NPA rebels continue attacking civilians in the south.

July 22, 2009: In the south, about a hundred rogue MILF fighters attacked an army camp, but were driven off by rifle and artillery fire.

 

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