Posts filed under ‘Jemaah Islamiah’
In what US and Philippine authorities are calling, “One of the most successful joint operations,” versus stolen cars from the USA to Asia; 25 cars and 18 Super-bikes are now in the custody of the Philippine National Police. In total; the National Bureau of Investigation agent in charge for northern Mindanao told a local newspaper in Cagayan de Oro, while Police in Davao City are also looking into if any of the cars or bikes had reached the largest city in Mindanao.
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.
The 90 day long Philippine election campaign period for the mid term polls for Congressional and local positions has so far resulted in 75 election related murders.
A briefing given by the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported.
“The PNP, as of May 1 the fatalities included two lawmakers (congressmen), a vice-governor, two mayors, three city councilors, 19 village chairmen and 16 village officials.” Senior Supt. Samuel Pagdilao Jr added that, “Another 32 casualties were supporters of the political candidates or civilians who happened to be in the area when the attacks took place.”.
Police officials however are quick to point out that 75 election related murders however violent this may seem is actually an improvement over past elections. “The number of casualties is still low compared to the 189 reported killed and 279 wounded in the 2004 campaign period”. PNP Spokesman Gen. Pagdilao clarified; overall the situation has improved since the last election.
Partly the decision by the Philippine election commission or COMELEC to place 60 cities and municipalities and two provinces were placed under ‘Comelec control is seen by Police as major reason for the drop in half violent incidents and killings.
Far from Over: 2 weeks till Election Day .
The Philippines Police is at a higher alert level during the election period with assault teams backing up armed police in the streets and mobile and fixed checkpoints spread throughout several areas of COMELEC control.
In part to keep warring political factions with heavily armed bodyguards from clashing, “417 cities and municipalities tagged as areas of immediate concern while 216 cities and municipalities were listed areas of concern.”.
Political clans and Warlord Politics:
In some parts of the Country there are those who still rule ‘warlord style’ a throwback to the 1950’s over parts of the country far from the public eye, In some cases even in urban areas with either private militias of bodyguards or often using, ‘active duty’ Military or Policemen.
To the “private Warriors’ whose pay and lifestyle are augmented by the nearly feudal system of old ‘Politics of patronage’.
But while these groups are often in far flung areas.
It is when rival political groups clash the outcome can be extremely violent. In the Central Luzon Province of Nueva Ecjica, an example of what happens when heavily armed political groups cross paths was displayed the often ugly side of ‘politics of the gun’ at it’s worst.
“The shootout in Jaen, Nueva Ecija between the camps of Nueva Ecija congressman Rodolfo Antonino and former Jaen Mayor Antonio Esquivel left four people dead and 14 more wounded – one of the bloodiest election related incidents this campaign.” Babe Romoldez, a columnist of Philippine Star newspaper wrote in in a Op-Ed piece, ” There’s no question a lot of business activity depends on the result of the elections, but of equal concern is for the process to be perceived as clean and honest. Unfortunately, election-related violence is getting more intense, “
The clash between warring political groups has led led to the deployment of 1,000 combat troops to the province and COMELEC (Commission of Elections) control.
In another election related killing a Mayor attending a complaint haring was gunned down on the streets of the Philippines second largest city of Cebu, while even on the campaign trail – violence has become part of the campaign, “Another violent incident involves San Carlos City, Pangasinan mayor Julian Resuello, who was fatally shot during a rally on Saturday. This further intensified perceptions that election violence is getting out of hand”
Local Government Politcal reform urged:
Political patronage which according to some of the top leaders of major LGU’s is often funded by graft ridden political cronyism and illegal ‘rackets’ that is typical at the local level of Government in areas far from the capitol – and – even sometimes in towns and cities of the major metropolitan zenes.
Barely two weeks remains in the campaign till election day on May 14th, In the last week the violence has escalated with 22 new incidents reported – this coming alongside three active insurgent groups clashes with government forces has led the US, UK, and Australia as well as many EU countries to issue warnings to their nationals living or visiting the Philippines to exercise extreme caution and avoid all Political gatherings.
“It is a cycle that needs to be broken, Political leaders to stay in power are expected by the people to hand out ‘favors’, You need funds to do this – so those not wealthy enough become forced to fund these activities with graft. Which leads to ineffective projects and governance,” A leading local official said on condition of anonymity, “Reforms are needed at the local level of politics too, or in the end it will be warfare every time there is an election as groups battle for control of local economies through political feuds and violence.”
With 75 Dead and 12 days to go and at least another week till winning candidates will be proclaimed the danger of more violence looms of violence is in the air already as political rivals claim victory amidst threats of more violence if their candidates do not win.
‘The threats of violence echo all the way down line from all sides of the politcal spectrum if they don’t win from the leaders at the top down to the lowest councilor.’ A senior national police official declining to be named told the author, “I’m more worried about what happens after the votes are counted and how that goes – if it goes bad – scenes of violence on large scale in some places might happen.’
Police officials privately fear the worst but say they expect if the polls are credible post-election violence ‘Won’t happen’. One thing is certain, as the frenzied campaign period is nearing climax, expect election-related deaths to soar as the Philippine Political warfare nears the homestretch.