November 12, 2013

Thoughts and Prayers for the Philippines

Wow, this just keeps getting worse and worse.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the Philippines. I'm not sure which charity to encourage you to give to, but I'm sure there are worthy ones out there.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:04 PM | Comments |

September 17, 2013

Hot Filipino on MILF Action!

You remember that peace deal the Philippines made with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front? That didn't last long:

The Philippines launched air strikes against Muslim rebels as President Benigno Aquino sought to bring an end to a week-long standoff that has killed 62 people and complicated efforts to bring peace to the south.

“We are gaining ground as far as our calibrated response is concerned,” military spokesman Brigadier General Domingo Tutaan told reporters in Manila. Two helicopters fired three rockets between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. yesterday with forces on the ground checking on casualties among Moro National Liberation Front members, another military spokesman, Captain Jefferson Somera, said in a mobile-phone message.

I've been meaning to comment on this for a few days, ever since a faction of the MILFs took dozens of Christians hostage, but kept getting sidetracked. It's good to see the government responding with force.

Thanks to Rantburg for the reminder.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:39 AM | Comments |

September 05, 2013

If Your Job is Making Bombs, It's Best Not to be a Moron

Another OSHA approved workplace accident:

A suspected bomber was killed after an improvised bomb he was transporting exploded in Zamboanga del Sur province in the southern Philippines.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:20 AM | Comments |

February 07, 2013

Filipino Army Enjoying Popcorn as MILF & Abu Sayyef Kill Each Other

The Filipino military? They're following my advice:

A senior member of the Moro [Islamic] Liberation Front [MILF] called for Muslims to stop killing Muslims yesterday as the group massed for a bigger assault on Abu Sayyaf strongholds in Sulu....

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday said it would not meddle in the hostilities, except to ensure the safety of civilians in the affected areas.

Enjoy the show boys!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:23 AM | Comments |

February 04, 2013

Red on Red in Philippines: MILF Attacks Abu Sayyaf

When MILFs attack, everyone wins!

A Muslim rebel group said Monday it attacked Abu Sayyaf gunmen after the al-Qaida-linked militants refused to free hostages, sparking fierce jungle clashes that left up to 22 combatants dead in the southern Philippines.

There was no word on whether the hostages were hurt in the fighting, but they remained in the grip of the Abu Sayyaf militants, police said.

Rebel commander Khabir Malik of the Moro National Liberation Front [MILF], which has an autonomy deal with the government, said his group decided to attack the Abu Sayyaf in the rugged mountains of Patikul town in southern Sulu province after negotiations collapsed on the release of several of its foreign hostages, including a Jordanian TV journalist and two European men who have been held since last year.

I'm always encouraged when our proxies fight the bad guys. But when we can get other bad guys to go after the bad guys? It's win-win. Worst case scenario: a bad guy is going to get killed.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:53 AM | Comments |

January 28, 2013

Al Qaeda Shows It's On the Run in Philippines by Not Releasing Hostages

On the run. I do not think it means what you think it means:

Al Qaeda-linked gunmen in the Philippines have refused to release a reported seven foreigners they’re holding hostage, as two weeks of negotiations with the government end in failure, according to various media reports.

Among the hostages held by Abu Sayyaf in the jungles of the Philippines are two European bird watchers, a Japanese treasure hunter, a journalist from Jordan, a Malaysian man and at least two Filipinos, the Associated Press reports.

Hey, I think there's a joke here. "A European bird watcher, a Japanese treasure hunter, a journalist from Jordan, a Malaysian, and two Filipinos walk into an Abu Sayyaf jungle. No one walks out." Ha ha ha, very funny.

short_round_ha_ha-very-funny.jpg

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:59 PM | Comments |

October 08, 2012

MILF Jokes Temporarily on Hold

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has reached a deal with the Filipino government. I give it two weeks before "radical" MILFS decide the "moderates" have sold them out and that that the Islamic Emirate can only be established when the moderates have all been beheaded:

The Philippine government and Muslim rebels agreed on a deal to end a 40-year conflict that has killed more than 120,000 people, President Benigno Aquino said on Sunday, paving the way for a political and economic revival of the country's troubled south....

The MILF and the government still need to thrash out details of their broad agreement in the months ahead as a 15-member commission drafts a law by 2015 to send to Congress.

The two sides agreed only that there would be "just and equitable" sharing of resources, which are believed to include large reserves of natural gas. Determining how much power the area will have over law, such as its scope to administer sharia justice, is another remaining challenge for negotiators.

Thanks to Lou.

PS -- Never do a Google image search for MILF vs. MILF with the office door open!

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:19 PM | Comments |

November 28, 2011

Hacking Scams for Fun and Terrorism

I"m just glad these guys got caught. It makes you wonder how many other tech heavy scams are financing terrorism?

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and police in the Philippines have jointly busted a ring of four alleged hackers in Manila with connections to a terrorist group in Saudi Arabia, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippines police said last week.

FBI agents, who have been investigating the hacking of telecommunication companies in the U.S. and in the country since 1999, have uncovered a "paper trail" of various bank transactions allegedly linking the local hackers to the cell in Saudi Arabia, whose activities include financing terrorist activities, CIDG said in a statement....

Muhammad Zamir, a Jemaah Islamiyah member, paid the suspects to hack the trunk-line of different telecommunication companies including AT&T. Revenue derived from the hacking was diverted to the account of the terrorists, who paid the Filipino hackers a commission through local banks, CIDG said.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:45 PM | Comments |

July 30, 2011

Philippines:“They behead soldiers to dehumanize our troops…”

abusayyafgroup_savages.jpgAbu Sayyaf Group is an al-Qaeda-linked Islamist terror group. The State Dept has them on the foreign terrorist organization list

Abu Sayyaf beheaded, mutilated 5 of 7 fallen Marines, says military[SheikYerMami]

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—Abu Sayyaf gunmen beheaded and mutilated five of the seven Marines killed in Sulu on Thursday, the military said.[Read the rest]
Evil basta*ds.

By Stable Hand at 12:17 AM | Comments |

July 13, 2011

Report: Americans Kidnapped By Abu Sayaff (Bumped/Updated)

It's deja vu all over again in the Phillippines.

Suspicion fell on the notorious terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, which has been blamed for ransom kidnappings, beheadings and bombings in the last two decades, or a Muslim rebel commander whose group has been linked to previous abductions. The 400-plus Abu Sayyaf militants, who are fighting for an Islamist state in the predominantly Christian nation, are holding three other kidnap victims, including a child, as part of desperate efforts to raise funds, according to the Philippine army. City police chief Edwin de Ocampo told reporters that the gunmen stormed a beach house on Tictabon island and took three tourists. De Ocampo identified them as Gerfa Yeatts Lunsmann, 50, her son Kevin Eric, and a nephew, Romnick Jackaria, 19.

We pray for their safe release, and the tortuous, painful deaths of their kidnappers. Inshallah.

H/T Creeping Shariah on Twitter

Updated by Howie: The American's have been identified as Gerfa Yeatts Lunsmann, her son Kevin Eric and nephew Romnick Jackaria.


By Vinnie at 08:10 AM | Comments |

January 28, 2011

Google/YouTube Fighting for the Cause of Allah in the Phillipines (Update)

Via Andrea

Exhibit A: Deadly bomb attack on passenger bus in Manila

Exhibit B: Wannabe? or are? Splodey Ho's "Takbeer - Allahu Akbar":

Update: Sorry? I sure as hell ain't:

yt video removed.jpg

[English translation of this video below fold]

Andrea asks:

Five died - were murdered - did this video incite? I can't help but wonder if any in this picture were among the dead and wounded on that bus.
Google/YouTube providing radicals/terrorists a platform and they are fine with that! It's all about $$$$$$ & growth:
5 questions with Googles Hunter Walk[former Huffpo blogger]

#5 WILD-CARD: Last month’s rumors that YouTube might acquire Next New Networks had many people reconsidering YouTube’s relationship with the production world (even though, of course, both NNN and YouTube were quick to state that those rumors were speculative). Looking forward at 2011, how is YouTube as an organization strategizing that relationship?

It’s really simple: We’re not a media company — we’re a media catalyst. It’s our goal to see content getting created, help it find the largest audience possible and make the content creators lots of money so they can reinvest in their vision.

To do this, we’ll build tools and a technology platform, but we’re also going to think about other adventurous ways we can be a productive partner. For example, in December we gave $1000 gift certificates to 500 YouTube partners so they could buy new video production gear.[some of those partners are terrorist supporters..]

In 2011 you’ll see us be even more creative and broad in our support of content creators because our business is going great and we believe more than ever in the ability for great content to be successful on YouTube. Whether it was produced by one person in their backyard or 1,000 people on a Hollywood backlot, we’re going to help you accomplish your goals.[emphasis mine]

Enough said

An-Nisa
Let those fight in the cause of―Allah who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. To him who fighteth in the cause of Allah,― whether he is slain or gets victory, soon shall We give him a reward of great (value). (74) And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?― men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from Thee one who will protect; and raise for us from Thee one who will help!" (75) Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah and those who reject Faith fight in the cause of Evil: so fight ye against the friends, of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan. (76) Hast thou not turned thy thought to those who were told to hold back their hands (from fight) but establish regular prayers and spend in regular charity? When (at length) the order for fighting was issued to them behold! a section of them feared men as―or even more than―they should have feared Allah: they said: "Our Lord! why hast Thou ordered us to fight? Wouldst Thou not grant us respite to our (natural) term, near (enough)?" Say: "Short is the enjoyment of this world: the Hereafter is the best for those who do right: never will ye be dealt with unjustly in the very least! (77) "Wherever ye are, death will find you out, even if ye are in towers built up strong and high!" If some good befalls them they say "This is from Allah"; but if evil, they say "This is from thee" (O Prophet). Say: "All things are from Allah. But what hath come to these people, that they fail to understand a single (fact? (78

By Stable Hand at 11:59 AM | Comments |

March 08, 2010

7 Good Terrorists in the Philippines

Nice work, if you can get it:

Marines killed seven suspected Abu Sayyaf members during a pre-dawn raid in the southern Philippines, state-run media reported.

The amphibious assault was carried out early Sunday in the town of Siasi, on the southern island of Sulu, said Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, a navy spokesman, according to the Philippine News Agency.

Thanks to Howie.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:55 PM | Comments |

February 27, 2010

AlQaeda Linked Abu Sayyaf Terrorists Kill 11 In Philippines

There go those misunderstanders of Islam again.

Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf militants killed 11 people in the southern Philippines on Saturday, officials said, hours after government officials rescued two hostages. The group stormed the town of Maluso on Basilan island before dawn, killing 10 civilians, including a baby girl, and a government militiaman.
Baby girl? Wow, she must have been a threat....bastages.

With any luck the coming TSUNAMI will drown the terrorists, leaving the innocents safe.

By Stable Hand at 03:34 PM | Comments |

September 29, 2009

IED Kills 2 U.S. Seabees in Philippines

(Jolo Island, Southern Philippines) Early this morning on the island of Jolo (pic), two U.S. Navy Seabees (non-combatant construction team) were killed in a roadside IED explosion while riding in a Humvee.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner said one Filipino soldier was killed while two others were also wounded when the vehicle they were riding in struck an improvised landmine near Indanan town on the island of Jolo, a stronghold of Abu Sayyaf militants.

"At 8:30 a.m., September 29, there was an [improvised explosive device] attack in front of the Philippine Marines detachment which is based between Luamsing and Kagay barangays. As a result of this, two US servicemen were killed and one Philippine Marine was also killed and two other Philippine Marines [were] wounded," he told reporters.

Investigators reportedly have no leads despite the fact that al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf operates on the island. The Philippine Army is investigating the possibility that the IED was remotely detonated.

Typically, IED attacks in the Philippines are infrequent and have been confined to the island of Mindanao. The IED attack on Jolo plus a January 2009 assassination attempt on the governor of Masbate Island indicate the deployment of IED tactics is widening.

Sadly, the two American Seabees were on Jolo to supervise construction of a medical clinic, an elementary school, and various other projects. They were a long way from home. Condolences to their families.

By at 05:40 AM | Comments |

January 15, 2009

Red Cross Team Kidnapped in Philippines

(Jolo Island, Philippines) Sen. Richard Gordon of the Philippine National Red Cross reported that three Red Cross workers have been kidnapped by the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.

The three are identified as Andreas Notter, a 38-year-old Swiss national; Eugenio Vagni, a 62-year-old Italian and Mary Jean Lacaba, a 37-year-old citizen of the Philippines.

Reportedly, while traveling in a Red Cross vehicle they were stopped by armed men on motorbikes and taken away. Three Filipinos riding with the Red Cross workers were robbed and released.

Brigadier General Eugene Clemen, commander of the 3rd Marine Brigade, said they believed an Abu Sayyaf group under Albader Parad is responsible for the kidnappings.

Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan said all available military and police forces have been mobilized to go after the scum vermin and their victims.

By at 10:57 AM | Comments |

November 20, 2008

AlQaeda Linked Terrorists Attack US Logistics Team

MSNBC/AP PC "suspected Muslim militants".

MANILA, Philippines

American troops traveling in a Philippine army convoy came under fire earlier this week from suspected Muslim militants, officials said on Thursday. No casualties were reported.

U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Thompson said the incident happened on Tuesday and that the U.S. military vehicle was part of the logistics mission.

Philippine police said a militant believed to be from the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf group was killed in the clash on southern Jolo island. Police say six Abu Sayyaf militants ambushed the convoy in Indanan town.

At least one terrorist met his virgin goat.

By Stable Hand at 10:44 AM | Comments |

November 10, 2008

Obama Disrespects the Philippines

(Manila, Philippines) It's arguably unwise to disrespect a geographically-strategic ally. Check out the views of Obama being expressed in Manila.

In the first blush of victory, US President-elect Barack Obama accepted congratulations from nine presidents and prime ministers and returned their calls. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, one of the numerous early callers, was not one of the chosen few.

The favored world leaders were Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Besides chatting with those nine world leaders, Obama also received and acknowledged congratulations from President Ahmadinejad of Iran.

Meanwhile, more than once, Philippines President Arroyo called to congratulate Obama and was told by Obama's team that her call was one of the first and he would call back. Inexplicably, no call was returned and the snub hasn't gone unnoticed.

The sidelining of the Arroyo call gave a glimpse of the importance of the Philippines to the United States at a moment of change of administration.

It is clear that the Philippines stands on the outer perimeter of US concerns in world affairs.

The first telephone conversations reveal the Philippines is not within the charmed circles of the Obama administration. It is a leper outside looking in.

It is imperative that Manila should rearrange its priorities vis-à-vis Washington. Obama is not our friend.

Maybe it was all just an administrative glitch.

By at 09:47 PM | Comments |

August 11, 2008

MILFs Attack, 130,000 Flee Southern Philippines

(Mindanao Island, Philippines) The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has attacked and occupied the North Cotabato Province of central Mindanao causing 130,000 majority Christian citizens to flee. Fifteen villages have been occupied.

The MILFs demand more land and cancellation of democratic elections.

Harsh criticism that the government doesn't protect Christians has prompted officials in Manila to respond swiftly with bombs from Philippine Air Force planes and artillery from ground brigades. Guerillas are reportedly putting up "heavy resistance." Fortunately, casualties reported thus far have been slight.

The Red Cross is sending food, water and medicine to aid the evacuees.

Note that the theft of real estate owned by others is apparently defined as liberation by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Interestingly, it's the same definition used by Castro in Cuba, Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Stalin in the Soviet Union and many other totalitarian despots.

By at 07:52 AM | Comments |

June 26, 2008

Abu Sayyaf Terrorists Reduced to "Plain Bandits"

Good news!

(Manila, Philippines) Due to persistent pressure from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has been reduced to "plain bandits" experiencing a leadership vacuum, says AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Alexander B. Yano.

To be realistic, though, there are still many hiding places. The Philippines is mostly mountainous islands covered with jungle.

By at 07:59 PM | Comments |

January 12, 2008

U.S. Military Angers Filipinos

(Zamboanga City, Philippines) It appears that U.S. troops have irritated the Filipinos regarding a camp in the southern Philippines.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines said it would relocate a Marine camp put up near a government hospital in the southern province of Sulu after a scandal involving US troops.

US troops in Sulu ordered last month a hospital in Panamao town to close every night that prevented medical personnel from treating patients after sundown. American troops who put up their camp at a Marine base near the hospital even told doctors to treat their patients at the municipal hall.

Dr. Silak Lakkian, head of the hospital, has complained about how US troops meddled in their operations. US soldiers also threatened to shoot anybody in the hospital in case there is an attack by terrorists. American soldiers have been in Sulu since 2006 to train local forces to hunt members of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group.

The meddling of US troops in local affairs drew widespread criticism and protests from provincial leaders and triggered calls from political activists in Manila for the House of Representatives and the Senate to hold an investigation into the incident.

US military commanders in Sulu apologized for the incident and the AFP ordered the soldiers away from the hospital. US soldiers insist a threat exist against them in the town from suspected Abu Sayyaf militants.

The U.S. military "camps" are political hot potatoes since the Filipinos don't want any "permanent" foreign military bases in the country. Consequently, the camps are called "temporary" training facilities in support of the global war on terror, however, they have become semi-permanent in nature. The "temporary" designation is justified by having U.S. forces regularly transfer in and then out after a short duration. Needless to say, the last thing desired is publicity.

Responding to the incident, Army Maj. Gen. Ruben Rafael said the camp would be moved to another village.

By at 08:13 AM | Comments |

November 29, 2007

Chaos in Manila - Call for President Arroyo to Resign

(Manila, Philippines) About eight hours ago (11 AM Manila time), chaos erupted in a courtroom of the Makati City Hall after guards of Sen. Antonio Trillanes brandished guns at his court hearing and called for President Arroyo's resignation. Sen. Trillanes and a group of soldiers were on trial for an alleged 2003 coup plot.

Subsequently, ABS-CBN News reported the following sequence of events. Pretty exciting night, I'd say. All times are approximate.

11:30 AM - Brandishing guns, Sen. Trillanes, Army Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim and his soldiers walked out of court and proceeded to storm the luxury Manila Peninsula Hotel while calling for the ouster of President Arroyo.

11:50 AM - National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales denounced Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and his renegade group of soldiers.

12:10 PM - Philippine National Police (PNP) placed on full alert.

12:50 PM - Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz joins the rebellion in support of Trillanes.

2:00 PM - Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno said the government will end the crisis before day's end. Philippine Senate calls for a peaceful resolution.

2:40 PM - President Arroyo ordered the PNP to arrest rebel soldiers.

2:45 PM - Philippine military rushes 1,500 troops to Manila. Guests start evacuating the Manila Peninsula Hotel.

3:00 PM - Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez said President Arroyo will not declare a state of emergency.

3:15 PM - Security forces of the military and police set to storm the Manila Peninsula Hotel to arrest renegade soldiers.

3:35 PM - Rebel soldiers refuse to accept arrest warrants. Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said he expects the worst to happen.

3:50 PM - Commanding General of the Philippine Army said his chain of command in intact and President Arroyo is the Armed Forces Commander in Chief.

3:58 PM - At least 50 Special Weapons and Tactics Commandos (SWAT) are poised to enter the Manila Peninsula Hotel.

4:06 PM - Warning shots fired by police in full-battle gear.

4:45 PM - United States reaffirms support for President Arroyo's government.

4:53 PM - Tear gas canisters fired into the Manila Peninsula Hotel lobby. Gunfire commences.

5:00 PM - Government troops scale hotel, lob tear gas.

5:05 PM - Full scale assault by government troops, volleys of gunfire heard.

5:11 PM - Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) rams through the main entrance to the hotel.

5:20 PM - Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Army Brig. Gen. Danny Lim decide to surrender.

6:20 PM - Sen. Trillanes was dragged out of the Manila Peninsula Hotel in handcuffs (pic) after surrendering to government troops. He was put on a waiting bus of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

"I will face [the charges]," the senator said, adding that his group decided to surrender out of concern of the safety of civilians and mediamen trapped with them in the hotel.

"Like I said before we are going out for the sake of the safety .... for your sake," he said referring to members of the media, civilians and employees of the hotel.

After Trillanes, former vice-president Teofisto Guingona and Army Brig. Gen. Danny Lim were also hauled into the same bus.

Notably and it's not clear why, some members of the media were also arrested.
In the category of government takeovers, I think this one pretty much sucked.

By at 07:21 AM | Comments |

November 13, 2007

Terror in Philippines: Congress Bombed, Muslim Congressman Killed (UPDATED)

No official suspects now, but given that the Philippines has been engaged in a civil war against Islamists wishing to break away from the democratic republic and set up a sharia state in the South, I'd say that it's pretty clear who the likeliest candidates are.

AP:

A bomb exploded at an entrance of the Philippine House of Representatives late Tuesday, killing a congressman and a driver. Police and soldiers in the capital went on high alert after the explosion, which injured nine people.
The name of the dead Congressman is Wahab Akbar. Another Muslim victim of Islamist terrorism.

Kyodo news agency adds that at least 11 others were injured.

UPDATE: Mike Pechar and I posted at the same time, so I'm merging the two posts into one. From Mike Pechar:

House Speaker Jose de Venecia said the blast was likely terrorists who wanted to threaten Congress. National Capital Regional Police chief Geary Barias said it's too early in the investigation to know the specific origin of the explosion. The bomb is believed to have detonated in a parking area outside the building's south wing.

A driver for Congresswoman Luz Ilagan, Melchor Talbo, was confirmed killed.

Metro Manila is now on full red alert.

National Capital Regional Police chief Geary Barias has ordered check points around the metropolis while the police are coordinating with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Meanwhile, President Arroyo ordered PNP Chief Avelino Ravon to personally supervise the investigation.

From ABS-CBN:

Basilan Rep. Wahab Akbar passed away following the blast that took place at the Batasan Pambansa Complex Tuesday night in Quezon City.

Negros Oriental Rep. Henry Teves, meanwhile, is in critical condition after sustaining severe blast injuries and burns following the explosion.

Those who were rushed to General Malvar Hospital on Commonwealth Avenue were identified as Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan, who sustained shrapnel wounds to the legs and back; Ismael Lim, driver of Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza; Kim Ar, bodyguard of Akbar and Maan Abustanilo, a staff of Teves.

An aide for the Philippine Broadcasting System, Larry Noda, 34, is stable with burns to his head and face.

UPDATE: Here's a pic of Akbar.

UPDATE: Via LGF, it looks like Akbar was the target of the attack. He had been an Islamist rebel, but was party to a peace agreement with the government. AP:

Rep. Wahab Akbar’s chief of staff said the congressman, a former member of a Muslim rebel group that signed a peace accord with the government in 1996, died at the hospital. Metropolitan Manila police chief Geary Barias said a lawmaker’s driver also was killed in the explosion, which went off as the House ended its session.....

“It looks like Congressman Akbar was the target,” Barias said. Police and soldiers in the capital went on high alert.

Akbar, a former governor of southern Basilan province, had been targeted by the Abu Sayyaf Muslim extremist group in the past for launching offensives against them.

There's only one thing Muslim fundamentalists hate more than infidels: traitors to the cause.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:22 AM | Comments |

May 31, 2007

Aussie Gunboats to Patrol Philippines

This is such a needed effort, I'm surprised it wasn't implemented earlier.

From ABC News Online:

Prime Minister John Howard and Philippines President Gloria Arroyo have signed an agreement allowing the two countries to do joint counter-terrorism exercises.

The "status of forces" agreement paves the way for joint military exercises and means Australia will help develop a fleet of high-speed gunboats to combat terrorists in the southern Philippines.

With no less than five distinct terrorist organizations (The Moro National Liberation Front, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiyah and the New People's Army) operating in the region, coordinated marine patrols will likely impede terrorists' ability to operate freely while gathering intelligence regarding their intentions.

By at 10:59 AM | Comments |

April 27, 2007

Philippines Honor Slain Peace Corps Volunteer Julia Campbell

Updating a previous report, the suspecteded killer of murdered Peace Corps volunteer Julia Campbell has surrendered, Campbell's remains have been cremated and flown back to the U.S., and Campbell is being decorated by the Philippine government.

The House of Representatives will honor martyred US Peace Corps volunteer Julia Campbell with the Congressional Medal of Achievement, its highest decoration, in recognition of her invaluable services and personal sacrifices for the Filipino people, especially the poor.

Speaker Jose de Venecia initiated the tribute to Campbell and said the Award for the well-loved volunteer teacher cum social worker was "accepted with gratitude" by the US government and the US Peace Corps.

De Venecia said the Award -- the highest decoration from the House -- will be presented in June to the US Peace Corps, represented by its director, Ronald Tschetter in Washington, and a representative of Campbell's family, in ceremonies expected to be graced by the top Philippine and American officials and leaders of civil society in Manila.

Honoring Julia Campbell with a Philippine Congressional citation is significant. It indicates that not only was Campbell well-liked and effective in her capacity as a Peace Corps volunteer, but also that the Filipino government wants to make sure that her murder doesn't aggravate relations with the Peace Corps nor the United States.

Understandably, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Peace Corps are concerned about the adequacy of existing security measures. Almost 140 Peace Corps volunteers are currently in the Philippines and their safety requirements are being reviewed. Note that the PNP has not completed its investigation into Campbell's murder. There continue to be unanswered questions.

To conclude:

The Congressional Medal of Achievement citation honored Campbell for having "brought light and joy into the lives" of many Filipinos.

"She epitomized the ideals of the Peace Corps and of the American people," the citation read.

For the light, the joy and the ideals, Julia Campbell will be remembered.

By at 06:46 PM | Comments |

February 02, 2007

Muslim Terrorists Hold High Ranking Filipino Military Officers Hostage

"Separatists" my ass. They're terrorists. What else to expect from MargaReuterVille.

MANILA (Reuters) - Muslim separatists in the southern Philippines are holding Manila's military chief, the head of the government's truce panel, a colonel and an undetermined number of soldiers hostage, senior military sources said on Saturday.

Members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) were refusing to let Brigadier-General Ben Dolorfino, commander of military forces in the capital, and Ramon Santos, an undersecretary of the peace process with the MNLF, leave their camp on Jolo island, 950 km south of Manila, until their jailed founder was released.

Dolorfino, who had flown to Jolo for talks with the MNLF, told reporters via a text message that he was safe. A military spokesman declined to comment.

Those on the left who think that we can just sit down and "dialog" with these types, and all of our problems will be solved, should take heed. This is what happens when you try to negotiate with Islamofascist terrorists.

Eh, they'll find a way to blame Bush, conveniently ignoring the fact that Muslim aggression in the Philippines goes back hundreds of years.

By Vinnie at 11:59 PM | Comments |

January 25, 2007

Abu Sayyaf Leaders Janjalani, Solaiman Dead

(Manila, Philippines) President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Philippines announced spot promotions for troops involved in last September's firefight death of Abu Sayyaf chieftain Khadaffy Janjalani. Also, receiving spot promotions were troops involved with the killing of No. 2 Abu Sayyaf leader, Abu Solaiman, aka Sulaiman. Both men were wanted for planning and conducting terrorist bombings and kidnappings throughout the Philippines. Thankfully, both are history.

Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf leader Janjalani was first reported dead in December 2006 on tips from captured members. Remains were located and taken for DNA testing which last week confirmed Janjalani's demise.

No. 2 Abu Sayyaf leader Solaiman was killed on January 16 on the island of Sulu. It's reported that S/Sgt. Raul Suacillo found Solaiman squatting in the woods, relieving himself.

"I waited for him (Solaiman) to finish (relieving himself). So that we will not be compromised, I called him because I want to apprehend him. We even had an eye contact. I told him 'don't make a noise'," said Suacillo.

Suacillo said instead of surrendering, Solaiman ran and chanted "Allahu Akbar (God is great)."

He said he opened fire at Solaiman to stop him from shouting that could warn other Abu Sayyaf members.

The Abu Sayyaf camp was in a heavily-wooded area so government troops had the advantage of surprise. I'm sure Solaiman was surprised and also deserving of some theological demerits for yelling Allahu Akbar while pinching a loaf.

In summary, two leaders of Abu Sayyaf are dead and two tipsters will each be collecting $5 million reward money. All the while, the Filipino government continues its ramped up assault on the terrorist group with notable successes.

By at 11:12 AM | Comments |