Archive for December, 2006
While here in Manila the sounds of explosions mark in the nw ear in Bangkok the booms of this night have been targeted weapons of terror as a new round of violence rocks the Thailand. The explosions come on the raised terror alert status throughout south east asia over the threat of Jemaah Islamiah bombers to strike undetermined targets in the region.
While many regional security exprts are trying to play down ties to al qaeda and JI in the unrelenting stream of attacks over the last few years that have killed over 1,500 in a series of attacks, shootings, and seperatist violence rocking mostly southern thailand.
 Bombs hit Bangkok, killing at least one
MSNBC – BANGKOK, Thailand – At least six small bombs exploded in Bangkok on Sunday, killing one and wounding more than 20 people, police said.
Four bombs go off in Bangkok Nation Multimedia
Bangkok hit by series of blasts BBC News
Jerusalem Post – Bangkok Post – The News – International – Reuters Canada
all 21 news articles » 
Most exprts try to point out the fight in Southern Thailand is not related to other seperatist struggles in the region.
However, the techniques, training, tactics, and terror weapons of choice point more closely to indonesia and bomb assembly seems like looking at a weapons training display from any major unified command bomb squad in the southern philippines.
Hambali was captured in thailand – and – perhaps the most disturbing in in all the years of his war on terror was a operation that thai police scored a major victory – often underplayed in the war on terror – preventing a sale of radioactive material to members of a terror cell preventing construction of dirty bomb in 2002.
While thailand deals with its problems here in Manila, member of the counter terrorism units of the department of justice’s national bureau of investigation chided the PNP over the downplaying of a successful operation versus a would be bomber captured by alert security people few meters aay from a crowded metro rail transit platform.
NBI CT operatives point out people should be warned – so the public could e alerted to the very real threat of attacks towards the end of New Year.
A PNP source however – reminded me that they were not the first to do downplaying of terror insidents – pointing to a infamous explosion at the NBI headquarters office several years ao that damaged several buildings near the Taft ave. gate – to which often was declared a accidental explosion – but to this day the PNP thinks was one of the first attacks of terror in Manila.
At this time Political oponents of the ruling junta are seen as the the possible groups behind this – however – remembering that JI in 2000 exploited the politcal turmoil of the Philippines on it’s Rizal Day December 30th Bombings. I still see from the timing of the blasts and close coordination the hand of the most prolific bombers in Asia in this Bangkok tragedy coming on New Years Eve there.
Litterally a ‘midnight dessision’ by the Philippine government – done through the courts – at a little after midnight Marine Daniel Smith was released into the cusotdy of the US Embassy.
Security reasons might be the reason – but still; anything done at the dead of night is far from Justice’s light – or so they teach in first year law. A mitigating circumstance.
Its part of a column by my old SVP for News at ABS-CBN Atty. Dong Puno – a very good analysis of the case and it’s movements. But in his last paragraph he hits home with an excelent point.
The convicted man whose case is on appeal was convicted based in part by evidence of his own NCIS – the US Navy’s Criminal Investigation Service.
Manila Times, Philippines – … The case has tested relations between the two nations and challenged the validity of an US-Philippines agreement about the legal rights of US soldiers charged … “
Protests have been heard as expected. But as per diplomatic agreement between both countries. The custody was til all appeals processes are completed – looks like smith will be confined at the embassy for some time to come – appeals can take up to a couple of years at best.
Philippines allows US to take custody of convicted US rapist
Monsters and Critics.com, UK – 1 hour ago
… explain. Last week, the US announced the cancellation of joint military exercises with the Philippines due to the custody issue. …
Philippines gives up Marine Arizona Daily Star
Philippines activists protest soldier jail transfer Radio Australia
Manila bows to US over custody of convicted rapist Reuters
ABS CBN News – International Herald Tribune
all 109 news articles »
I would like readers to notice anytime I post anything negative to one in this case I spamed by porn trackbacks. Sa tagalog ang tawag dito ay pikon – alam nanan natin na ang pikon ay laging talo.
The Bomb blast in a shopping area in Tacurong City in South Central Mindanao is not the first time the area has been a target for terrorism. Malls, Shops, Schools, and others have been among the targets of terror groups in Mindanao.
 …” Two Women Injured In Bomb Explosion In Southern Philippines
Playfuls.com, Romania – by Editorial Staff. A bomb explosion ripped through a department store in a southern Philippine city, injuring at least two women, a military official said. … ” 
…” JI extremist group behind mall bombing in southern Philippines
People’s Daily Online, China –
Jema’ah Islamiyah (JI), a Southeast Asian extremist group was behind Thursday’s mall bombing in the southern Philippines that wounded four people, local police …
Police eye al-Qaida-linked rebels in mall blast (4:45 pm) Sun.Star
ROUNDUP: Four Injured In Bomb Blast In Southern Philippines Playfuls.com
Two Women Injured In Bomb Explosion In Southern Philippines Playfuls.com…
Doing sotries on this area which is at the boundry of Sultan Kuderat and along the main highway to General Santos City residents here openly know that the area is zone of active groups who use explosives to sow terror – but – more ominously – the area is often also called a ‘classroom’ and bombs going off here often indicate new graduates from JI and ASG and Abu Sofia bomb making classes.
Security there is tighter and more aware of the threats these kinds of insidents have become a regular event – every few months- almost to local people in the area.
What often follows weeks later are more deadly attacks elsewhere in the region. I wonder if any of the things happening in suthern thailand have ties there as well. I noted a report on the chicken noodle news network that seems to try and link it to Iraq.
But then thats normal for some news organizations in the west wo have a one track mind in coverage goals set by newsdesks who have a limted view of the globe.
I have been noticing a steady stream of SPAM trackbacks to posts on my site from a IP address 126.96.36.199 – I know several people in law enforcement look at my blog every now and then – I also have passed on the spammers IP address to the cyber crimes units of law enforcement.
It has been traced.
Manila- While people are breathing a sigh of relief over a tsunami warning that fizzled out. Below the surface of the seas millions were affected as thousands of ISP’s or internet service providers were hit when undersea data fiber optic cables were damaged in a major undersea earthquake in South East Asia.
…” Internet Services in Asia May Take 2 Weeks to Return
Northwest Herald, IL – … Voice traffic from the US to countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Brunei is also affected, the San Antonio-based … …” 
 “… Asia slowly bounces back from one of the region’s biggest telecom …
USA Today – … The four vessels — sailing from Japan, Singapore and the Philippines — would arrive next Tuesday, said Lin Jen-hung, vice-general manager of Chunghwa … “
 “… Disruption in Internet, phone services highlight reliance on …
Calgary Sun, Canada – … Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and the Philippines reported slowdowns or access difficulties, mainly to foreign websites, including search engines and some e-mail … ” 
In Manila – BPO Companies are trying their best to secure direct web satellite uplink services as the crisis over a damaged undersea cable in the Batanaes straights, south of Taiwan, is putting pressure on a already over clogged web infrastructure in Asia.
The worlds second leading market for BPO services the Philippines. Local ISP providers PLDT and Globe telecom have both been affected. Traffic rerouted to other parts of South east Asia has slowed down connection speed at a critical time for customer service calls – the after Christmas warrantee and product assembly period where call centers often put on double the staff level to cope with increased demand.
Many BPO providers are informing their US based call center clients’ that they may be using more expensive voice lines and leased uplink satellite broadband streams in the next few days as providers are trying to cope with the world wide web slowdown.
Some reports say as many as many as six undersea data cables perhaps more have been damaged. the cables link a infrastructure of fiber optic lines that link the Northern part of Asia with Taiwan, and downstream to Malaysia, The Philippines, and Singapore at T3 levels of connectivity.
Singapore and Malaysia have other infrastructure that allows them to reroute traffic to other leased lines linking them to India. But they are also currently affected by the main cable juncture undersea nears the rough seas of in the Batanes group of islands and Taiwan. Other cables carrying voice and telex communications are also reportedly damaged.
Most companies are re routing connections to more costly and less data bandwidth stream rate satellites in orbit. It is not clear how long it will take to make repairs to the cable system but in a few days much of the data carriers will most likely have to switch at least for the time being to unlinked connection assets.
Fears of a TSUNAMI hitting the extreme Northern Philippines has subsided after experts have announced that only slight swelling of the seas have been noted and that according to the executive director of the Philippine Institute of Vulancology and Siesmology. “There is no Tsunami”.
Some reports say Japanese and Swiss automatic warning devices issued a false alert. However, this has been clarified by local observers and sea scans by watchers who note only subtle changes in seascape.
 …” 3rd UPDATE) ‘No tsunami warning for RP’ 12/27/2006 1:19:40 AM …” ABS-CBN News
New Powerful quake strikes near Taiwan, triggering tsunami
Chicago Daily Herald (subscription), IL – Meteorological Bureau said the quake triggered a 3.3-foot -high tsunami that was headed toward the eastern coast of the Philippines. …
Powerful earthquake strikes off southwestern Taiwan
CBS 47, CA – … Meteorological Bureau says a three foot tsunami generated by a powerful earthquake off Taiwan is headed toward the east coast of the Philippines. …
Tsunami Aims at Philippines After Quake
Newsday, NY – Japan’s Meteorological Bureau said a 3-foot-high tsunami was expected to hit Basco in the Philippines, about 125 miles southeast of the quake’s epicenter. …
Explosions fueled by fireworks and firecrackers some as powerful as hand granades ripped apart a store on Leyte Island in the central philippine city of Ormoc.
The reports are that the store had scores of small stalls added in selling wares from China on christmas day – a typical heavy shopping day in most parts of the country. Scores of people return to provincial cities and rural areas from the large metropolitan areas during the Christmas Holiday season.
A investigation revealed that many people sought to excape the flames in a bathroom at the rear of the store as the fire spread rapidly. Small hallways were blocked by stalls and stores and decorations that added fuel to the rapidly growing firestorm. More shops selling cheap fireworks also caught fire inside the store and small LPG tanks exploded causeing a three hour blaze late christmas day afternoon.
 “… Christmas Day fire hits Ormoc dep’t store; 24 killed, 4 injured
(Update) At least 24 persons were killed while four others were injured in a fire believed to be caused by firecrackers at a one-storey department store in Ormoc City in Leyte province late Monday afternoon.
” … 24 Die as Fireworks Ignite Philippines Store Fire
New York Times – Dec. 26 (AP) – A fire that started with the use of illegally sold firecrackers swept through a department store in the central Philippines, killing 24 people who took refuge in a restroom, the police said Tuesday.
‘Exits locked’ in Philippines blaze Aljazeera.net
Philippine Department Store Fire Kills 24 People, ABS-CBN Says Bloomberg
Ottawa Recorder – CBC News – Forbes
all 253 news articles » ” 
This comes as reports from the DOH say a 111% increase in the number of fireworks and firearm related injuries in the capitol alone. Local BFP firemen warn about the dangers of fires. In my daily old grind of beat reporting at chrstmas to new years time the number of fires normally rise moslty with problems surrounding christmas lights. No one is safe – rich and poor aloke often fall victim to the rissk of overloaded circut breakers and old fuses. 06:10 AM » Firemen warn vs possible New Year fires (GMANEW.TV)