Posts filed under ‘JI’
September 27th, 2007 · No Comments
Philippine President Arroyo who is with other world leaders in New York attending the annual general assembly meeting has come out with what is one of the few statements by leaders in ASEAN versus the repression in Myanmar.
Most ASEAN leaders – like in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam are borderline countries on human rights issues. By and large while there are problems too here in the Philippines with active insurgencies and some cases of violations.
Most if not all cases that make it the courts do go through the legal process – and – widespread crackdowns like the current one in Rangoon are rare. However, Burma’s rulers often do as the rulers of any dictatorship do and do not pay heed to their own people let alone really listen intently to other leaders in the region.
Privately Philippine officials in Manila speaking on ‘Conditions of Anonymity’ say “China is the key here – and – China can stop the violence in Burma and should. So far its diplomats have been trying, one wonders how long Beijing will cover for the Yangoon Junta which of late has caused a lot of embarrassment and problems for the leaders Beijing.”
..Philippine President Arroyo: We call on Myanmar to act in its own best interests to avoid its further isolation and to redeem its democracy without any further delay. We have patiently but persistently advised Myanmar within ASEAN that it must make greater and faster progress toward that goal.
Recent events in Myanmar, therefore, are of concern to the Philippines and to the region as a whole. The Philippines asks the Government of Myanmar to act with the utmost restraint and to take immediate steps to preserve what advances have been made in its roadmap to democracy. Specifically, we ask the Government of Myanmar to now allow all interested parties to take full part in the effort to national reconciliation through peaceful and inclusive dialogue.
This means the release of all those who have been detained and who can contribute to the process of national renewal, including Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi. In addition, we ask that the Government of Myanmar invite the UN Special Envoy for Myanmar, Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, to visit the country as soon as possible. …
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Thursday (Sept. 27, New York time) urged the government of Myanmar to release pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and scores of Buddhist monks who have been rounded up for staging protests against the country’s military rulers.
In a statement that she distributed personally to members of the Philippine media at the Waldorf Astoria Towers where she is billeted during her three-day official trip here, the President said freeing Suu Kyi from years of house arrest serves Myanmar’s own best interests and avoid further isolation of the country from the rest of the world’s democracies.
Myanmar is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) along with Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
“Recent events in Myanmar, therefore, are of concern to the Philippines and to the region as a whole,” the President said, and called on Yangon to act with “utmost restraint and to make immediate steps to preserve what advances have been made in its roadmap to democracy.”
She said it was important that all stakeholders engage in a common search for a peaceful resolution of the current unrest in the country and bring about national reconciliations..
“This means,” she added, the “release of all those who have been detained and who can contribute to the process of national renewal, including Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi.”
She also called on Rangoon’s military leaders to invite United Nations (UN) Special Envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari to visit that country as soon as possible to look into the situation there.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was democratically elected prime minister of Myanmar in 1990 but the military refused to hand over power to her winning National League for Democracy Party. Suu Kyi has been under house address since 1989.
The President will address the UN General Assembly before noon Friday (New York time) as she winds up her official visit to the Big Apple. She is scheduled to head back to Manila Friday afternoon, (New York time).-press release
Global Corruption Survey Results
Mike Cohen, PNC Correspondent 27.SEP.07
9:39 a.m. Transparency International, the global international anti-corruption ‘watchdog,’ released its latest findings today in Germany. “The 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index looks at perceptions of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories – the greatest country coverage of any CPI to date – and is a composite index that draws on 14 expert opinion surveys.”
The yearly report, is used as a baseline by business in trade and investments as guide to global corruption, the report, “scores countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero indicating high levels of perceived corruption and ten indicating low levels of perceived corruption.”
This years survey shows, “A strong correlation between corruption and poverty continues to be evident. Forty percent of those scoring below three, indicating that corruption is perceived as rampant, are classified by the World Bank as low income countries.”
The report goes on to say some countries are falling further behind. “Somalia and Myanmar share the lowest score of 1.4, while Denmark has edged up to share the top score of 9.4 with perennial high-fliers Finland and New Zealand.”
Global corruption scale:
Scores are significantly higher in several African countries in the 2007 CPI. These include Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa and Swaziland. These results reflect the positive progress of anti-corruption efforts in Africa and show that genuine political will and reform can lower perceived levels of corruption.
Other countries with a significant improvement include Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominica, Italy, FYR Macedonia, Romania and Suriname. Countries with a significant worsening in perceived levels of corruption in 2007 include Austria, Bahrain, Belize, Bhutan, Jordan, Laos, Macao, Malta, Mauritius, Oman, Papua New Guinea and Thailand.
Eastern Europe improving war zones problematic:
The concentration of gainers in South East and Eastern Europe testifies to the galvanising effect of the European Union accession process on the fight against corruption.
The concentration of gainers in South East and Eastern Europe testifies to the galvanizing effect of the European Union accession process on the fight against corruption.
At the same time, deeply troubled states such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar, Somalia, and Sudan remain at the very bottom of the index. “Countries torn apart by conflict pay a huge toll in their capacity to govern. With public institutions crippled or non-existent, mercenary individuals help themselves to public resources and corruption thrives,” said Labelle. The divide in perceived levels of corruption in rich and poor countries remains as sharp as ever, according to the 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), released today by Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption. Developed and developing countries must share responsibility for reducing corruption, in tackling both the supply and demand sides.
“Despite some gains, corruption remains an enormous drain on resources sorely needed for education, health and infrastructure,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International. “Low scoring countries need to take these results seriously and act now to strengthen accountability in public institutions. But action from top scoring countries is just as important, particularly in cracking down on corrupt activity in the private sector.”
* Developing countries should use aid money to strengthen their governance institutions, guided by national assessments and development strategies, and to incorporate strengthened integrity and corruption prevention as an integral part of poverty reduction programs.
* Judicial independence, integrity and accountability must be enhanced to improve the credibility of justice systems in poorer countries. Not only must judicial proceedings be freed of political influence, judges themselves must be subject to disciplinary rules, limited immunity and a code of judicial conduct to help ensure that justice is served. A clean and capable judiciary is essential if developing countries are to manage requests for assistance in the recovery of stolen assets from abroad.
* Governments must introduce anti-money laundering measures to eradicate safe havens for stolen assets, as prescribed by the UNCAC. Leading banking centers should explore the development of uniform expedited procedures for the identification, freezing and repatriation of the proceeds of corruption. Clear escrow provisions for disputed funds are essential.
* Wealthy countries must regulate their financial centers more strictly. Focusing on the roles of trusts, demanding knowledge of beneficial ownership and strengthening anti-money laundering provisions are just a few of the ways that rich governments can tackle the facilitators of corruption.
* The world’s wealthiest governments must strictly enforce the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, which criminalizes the bribery of foreign public officials. Lack of compliance with the convention’s provisions continues to hinder corruption investigations and prosecutions.
* The boards of multinational companies must not only introduce but implement effective anti-bribery codes, and ensure that they are adhered to by subsidiaries and foreign offices.
While the Philippine Military has it’s assistance from US, Australian, and, UK sources in its fight versus al qaeda backed bandits of the Abu Sayyaf and the SE Asia franchise of the terror group Jemaah Islamiyah- a California connection has come forward.
Or so say Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Scott N. Schools, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California; Joseph Billy, Jr., FBI Assistant Director for Counterterrorism; and Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).-in a case filed before a US citizen of Philippine and Malaysian descent and his Terror leader brother and belived leader of Jemaah Islamiah Mantiki 3 that is reportedly responsible for the recent attacks in Basilan and Jolo.that among other things involved the beheading and dismemberment of 10 Philippine marines last july 10th, 2007.
The US connection and aid flow was uncovered this week in a Federal district court of Northern California with the indictment of Zulkifli bin Hir and the arrest of his brother in the San Jose, California – who is accused and charged with providing materail support to terrorism. In a copy of the indicment posted online – details of which are marked sealed by the court – the indictment goes into specific acts that anyone who closely follows or as I reports on the fighting, War, and, acts of terrorism – is a blow by blow inside look into how JI members exist – specifics include raids, deaths, equipment shipments, orders of things like gun parts – transmitters and radio scanners -it speaks also on the effectiveness of drones and P3 orion aircraft. Chilling and if corelated to events on dates – reads like a diary of one Ji terrorist and his brother’s part in the Jihad in Mindanao – both of whom are Malaysian – of how they track news using popular philippine websites – for all i know even this blog!
…” Rahmat Abdhir, aka “Sean Kasem,” aka “Sean Kalimin,” age 43, is a U.S. citizen living in San Jose, Calif., and the brother of Zulkifli Abdhir. Rahmat Abdhir is charged in the indictment with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, providing material to terrorists, contributing goods and services to a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (his brother), and false statements. FBI agents arrested Rahmat Abdhir yesterday morning outside his place of employment in Sunnyvale, Calif. He made his initial appearance yesterday in federal court in San Jose. …” 
In the August 2nd – 16 count indictment- before the courts -Rahmat Abdhir, 43, aka “Sean Kasem,” aka. is accused of proiving support and also reports say had a weapons cashe that may indicate a Bay Area cell of the Abu Sayyaf or at least a support base for one exists in California.
Terror suspect kept guns in home, storage
San Jose Mercury News, USA - Assistant US Attorney John T. Gibbs argued in a federal court in San Jose that the 43-year-old bespectacled married father of four was far too dangerous to …
South Bay Man Arrested For Al Qaeda Ties
abc7news.com, CA - Rahmat Abdhir has lived on Sunwood Drive in San Jose since 2003. The FBI raided his house yesterday. Rahmat’s younger brother is Zulkifli Abdhir, …
It is believed the arrest and information gathered after it helped not only put a stop to at least one flow of technology, weapons, and, financial support but also had a hand in stopping a bomb plot versus malls in Metro Manila.
PNP thwarts plans to bomb NCR shopping malls and food terminals
Philippine Information Agency, Philippines - Text messages from the suspect’s cellphone coming from JI operative Zulkifli Bin Hir, alias Marwan; and Basit Usman, who is said to be a leader of the Moro …
06 – PNP foils bomb plots in metro shopping malls
Balita.org, UK - Rosales said they saw text messages from Usman’s cellphone, recovered at his safe house, coming from JI operative Zulkifli Bin Hir, alias Marwan; .
MILF ties bared in Indictment: E-mails speak of protection provided to J.I.
In the wake of recent fighting in the South the indicment also says that the MILF or at leasst factions or elements of the MILF in Western Mindanao provide aid and comfort to JI fugitives:
…” Zulkifli Abdhir kept his brother in the U.S. informed of his situation on the ground in the Philippines by providing reports of battles between Philippine troops and his protectors there, including elements of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
In one instance, Zulkifli Abdhir described an effort by Philippine government troops to capture him on Aug. 10, 2006 in which commandos surrounded his house and a gun battle ensued. Zulkifli Abdhir also described numerous battles and conflicts with Philippine government troops after a ceasefire between MILF and the Philippine government ended on Sept. 30, 2006. …” http://sanfrancisco.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/2007/sf080207.htm
The press release goes into details of the indicment and information is is readily available on the Web. There is a small mostly sympathetic support group among some Moro Fil-Am’s in the USA for the rebels in Mindanao but most are involved in suppoorting peace talks and efforts to end the fighting in Mindanao.
Yet as this case shows there are also some who do support violence or so it seems by the actions mentioned in the indicment.
 “… According to the indictment, Rahmat Abdhir shipped requested items to his brother in the Philippines using various aliases for the sender and the recipient. Between June 2006 and June 2007, Rahmat Abdhir allegedly shipped nearly 30 hand-held or two-way radios, as well as Colt .45 magazines, binoculars, a rifle scope and firearms manual, flashlights, batteries, and camouflage clothing to his brother. The indictment also alleges Zulkifli Abdhir routinely informed Rahmat Abdhir when he needed money sent or wired to the Philippines for purchases of items including firearms and ammunition. Rahmat Abdhir transferred the requested money to Zulkifli Abdhir through bank accounts that his brother provided in the Philippines, varying the times and amounts of money sent, and using false names and addresses. Between June 2006 and June 2007, Rahmat Abdhir allegedly sent more than $10,000 to his brother….”
But th arrest raises fear in the San Francisco Bay Area – in particular for those of Asian American descent many of whom suffered after 9-11 because of life history in areas of conflict in the southern Philippines some of whom are trying to remind others that the accused in the indictment is the exception to the rule – Filipino Americans for example make up the largest number of volunteers and largest single minority group serving in the US military and federal authorities in the War on Terrorism.
Another fear raised is the location of the arrests – this is Silicon Vally – the man lived in San Jose – worked in Sunnyvale – this is home to the US technology industry and also a center of possible areas of soft targets including the main telecommunications hubs of the internet and telecoms and computer industry. He worked at a company known as Applied Identity – revealed a federal detention hearing for Rahmat Abdhir. Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Gibbs was also that Abdhir – worked for a Silicon Valley based company that provided ‘security’ to servers, resources, and, database and information systems all over the world. Among its listed clients are firms and government
While it may come as shock to those in the USA – the profile is typical of Al Qaeda ‘s Jemaah Islamiah supporters and groups in SE Asia – where Malaysians , Indonesians, and Singaporeans are concerned in that the members caught are mostly well educated, Computer and tech savvy, and also – very much involved in computers and systems management.
 “… Applied Identity’s customers are organizations with more than 200 users. Initial vertical market focus includes financial services, health care and government.
The company’s ID-Unify and ID-Enforce appliance-based solutions enable organizations to enforce identity-based privileges, consolidate access policy development and provide user network activity data for risk management forensics and compliance. The company’s solutions integrate into networks, leveraging and extending existing identity and security infrastructures. “…
From Company mission and profile
…” Applied Identity provides the only identity-driven network access management solution with the flexibility to manage consistent trusted access to network …
www.appliedidentity.com/ – 14k – Cached – Similar pages – Note this
Contact Us – http://www.appliedidentity.com/company/contact-us.shtml
Products – http://www.appliedidentity.com/products/
Company – http://www.appliedidentity.com/company/
Solutions: Network Security Control – http://www.appliedidentity.com/solutions/ …”
Ironically the Bay Area and Silicon Valley are also home of the largest groups of Anti-War and US Anti-establishment movements the possibility that there in this part of the USA terror ‘cells’ or ‘support groups’ exist is something many in the federal government’s intelligence community feel is a likelihood – or so they have said in prior interviews and stories I have done on SE Asian terror gangs linked to Al Qaeda.
They point out that while Bay Area residents where among the first victims of 9-11 to fight back – I.E. United Flight 93 was bound for San Francisco – where passengers fought hijackers that led to the palne crashing into a field rather than a Washington area building.
Prior to 9-11 California based support groups also existed for groups like the Abu Sayyaf in places like Oakland and Berkley and the South Bay Area. I remember working on stories on this topic – but most of it was lost in the mix post 9-11 and other sotires took to the forefront of the news.
I always wondered why so much effort was made to freeze assets and accounts of Al Qaeda members linked to the Abu Sayyaf and was told because bank accounts in the USA were found for some ASG members and their families – also ransom funds – in some cases – reports said actual bills from ransoms paid in the ASG kidnaping spree traced via serial numbers of bills – ended up in circulation in the California and Nevada areas.
Considering the amount of cash spread out in just the Sipadan kidnapping – $20 million dollars in cash -It is most likely that the money made its way there via – US bound Fil-ams who bought bills in Mindanao – or the alleged ‘cut’ or commissions of officials who allegedly profited by provided ‘bulk exchange’ to Pesos to ASG members or middlemen.
As early as 2000-2001 investigation prior to 9-11 showed of support groups and organizations who at least on the internet provide some form of propaganda assistance to groups like the ASG and other Philippine based -terrorist designated groups – but – considering free speech issues and legal concerns – most go unnoticed except when they send funds or material support like alleged actions of Rahmat Abdhir : At his bail hearing FBI agents said he was in possesion of several guns over 1,000 rounds of amunition and communications gear – Guns per say – are not illegal – nor are there any limits on the number of rifles a person may own in the USA – but if the alleged shipment of weapons took place then there is problem for Abdhir – emails discuss more than just basic materail support but right down to bomb compnents used – funds needed to set aside for the terrorists children if he’s killed and also references to attacks – weapons and whole stack of details that by and of itself – looks like and reads like a detailed description of support given and where and who is doing what to help the Malaysian and Indonesian JI members in Mindanao.
 “… , Rahmat Abdhir routinely kept his brother informed by providing news stories and Internet links that reported on the conflict in the Philippines and the fact that Zulkifli Abdhir was a wanted fugitive. –
This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in San Francisco, with assistance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Schmidt of the Northern District of California and Trial Attorney John T. Gibbs of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, Counterterrorism Section.
The public is reminded that the charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. …”
FOX News war stories host Oliver North and team are covering the events down south a good first live report on Hanity and Combs of Fox is on the fox news website. (more…)
A call center based in the former Fort Bonifacio area of Taguig was the subject of the bomb threat that led to the evacuation of over 2,000 employee’s Monday night.
Identified in media reports as the Amber Creek company – Police and security officials were quick to downplay the threat – even after extensive EOD, Swat, and private security anti-terrorism units were deployed to area – per official reports no device was found.
The disruption to service comes as call centers are facing increasing problems of rising costs on a weaker US dollar – this days trading at 45 pesos to the Dollar has some BPO companies looking at a serious level of cost saving s of being set up in the Philippines on contracts based at a time when the US dollar was almost at 57 pesos to one greenback.
However -the weaker Dollar means that costs are even higher than the Philippines in other outsourced areas such as Ireland and Canada – today Canada’s dollar traded at 92 cents Canadian to one greenback – the costs savings of basing in Canada for some US outsourced firms has lessened to point that many are shifting back to back-up zones in places like Nevada and Connecticut – where wages are lower actually than Toronto and Quebec in general with the new exchange rate levels expected to see a ‘Canuk’ dollar reaching equality with its south of the border US cousins at nearly the same level in the month or so some predict.
Overall outsourcing has become such a investment draw to the region – the philippines in particular is now seen as the top investment destination in the region with vietnam coming in at close second. Or so Japan’s Nikkei reports.
However last night terror related incident seems to have been a false alarm – the idea of threat to such a vital industry here was clearly not lost on security firms who grabbed cameras and prevent as much as they could media’s reporting on anything related to the incident as much as they could. The whole area is private property even if it is a public place.
It is the sum of all fears for couturiers like the Philippines now seen a prime investment destination because of its ability to bounce back from bombing spree’s and other problems that has made it an attractive destination for many industries including IP based services – yet fears remain as clear as the worried faces of officials who laughed off the insident as a prank – that may have been a worker trying to get off work early.
Yet – privately knowing the fickle nature of clients these centers represent threats or actual incidents could result in contract displacement or termination.
You can be sure authorities are keeping an eye on the possibility that the threat is being closely looked at considering warnings over possible JI-Abu Sayyaf teams in Manila as also some group attempting to test and gauge response times and study evacuation plans.
Experts I have talked to are closely looking into that possible…. idea that there may be more here than meets the eye even the possibility of business rivals seeking to disrupt services or disgruntled employee’s seeking notoriety.
We’ll keep an eye on this one and see what happens – if it was a prank as it seems to be – then the person who sent the bogus threat should be found, punished, and charged for whatever possible crime is available in the law books. Afterall text messages are admissible as evidence in court.
Let’s see where this goes….
International Poll Watchers in Mindanao: Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia
A group of 21 poll watchers from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia have set up shop in Mindanao to look over the Philippine election process,
The observer mission is being coordinated by the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) and supported with funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Asia Foundation.
In all some 219 observers from the US, EU, Canada, the UK and the UN are looking at the conduct of the election process. Some have also come to learn how to watch and what to look for in election related issues and concerns for when elections take place in their own countries.
For this group of mostly Muslim observers during their deployment in the ARMM, the observer team members will be hosted by six local Muslim civil society groups that have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) on April 3, 2007.
The goal is make sure that this group gets a chance to see what is going on and report any irregularities if any are found in the conduct of the polls. The observers for this group from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia – come from countries that do also have elections – however have very different government systems –
Hence each of the observers do bring some issues from their home countries that does show more localized understanding than many western observers – Pakistan for example – is run by former general who took power after a coup. Bangladesh – just had a major upheaval with local political reform being meted out by a sweeping move at anti-corruption and very public arrests of old styled political figures and oligarch’s there. Thailand – well – we all so that coup however peaceful – it still does not have democratically elected leadership at this time – although elections are promised and expected soon there and a major Islamic insurgency is ongoing. Indonesia – like the Philippines is dealing with post dictatorship adjustments to democratic space – and so far it has done well – its government is elected. Malaysia is a democracy – but – still has some post Mahathir issues – reform there seems close at hand with the changes made so far and freedom given to people like Anwar Ibrihim.
Sri Lanka is also facing insurgency – seperatists Tamils hold a mjaor section of the country – but for the most part is a democracy: .
Police in the Philippines think a earlier attempt to bomb a police station on April -and – The suspect they have in that failed attack on a Police Station is behind todays bombing of a billard hall at the Tucurong City market
- Police are hunting down is id ntified as Edris Sabal for the failed bombing. Sabal is suspected of having links to the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists from Indonesia led by Umar Patek and Dulmatin – both men are on the US governments most wanted terrorist lists.
Today’s bombing followed the discovery of another explosive in Banga, South Cotabato on Friday.
As well as a Bomb being dellivered exploding on a motorcycle as would be bombers tried to transport it. two men were killed in the blast.
The blast Tuesday comes six days before the Philippine midterm elections and two weeks after the US, UK, and Austalian embassies in Manila warned its citizens to avoid going to public areas in Mindanao after it received information of an imminent terrorist threat.
JI terrorists, politics could be behind Tacurong blast – report
GMA news.tv, Philippines - Meanwhile, as of 9:30 pm Tuesday, there had been no travel advisory from foreign embassies in the Philippines due to the blast. – GMANews.TV.
Tacurong has been targeted by bomb attacks in recent years,
In January 2003, eight people were killed while 33 others, two of them children, were critically wounded after an unidentified man hurled a grenade at the city’s plaza filled with New Year revelers. Two months later, another blast in Tacurong killed a man and wounded two others. In October 2006, two people died and at least four people were injured when a bomb went off at a public market in the city.
Five killed in bomb attack in southern Philippines Reuters AlertNet
At least three dead in bomb blast in southern Philippines (Roundup) Monsters and Critics.com
Five Killed in Bomb Attack in Southern Philippines Javno.hr
all 19 news articles »
It is known as part of area called the ‘classroom’ by counter terrorism experts in Asia. A majority Christian city that was built on the outskirts of large American agribusiness plantations of Dole and Del Monte – aside from successful bomb attempts over 70 foiled attempts have been foiled and items recovered show a roadmap of bomb making that reaches Iraq, Afghanistan, and, Indonesia – based – on bomb designs. A large number of IED R&D design work is done in the area which is about a two hour drive from a major rebel conflict zone.