Thursday, March 17, 2005

Philippines: Abu Sayyaf guerrillas going "sea-borne?"

Khaleej Times reports Abu Sayyaf guerrillas training for sea-borne terror attacks
The militant group Abu Sayyaf has trained in scuba diving to prepare for possible sea-borne terror attacks outside the country, the Philippine military said on Thursday, citing the interrogation of a captured guerrilla. The Al Qaeda-linked militants also received at least US$18,500 over the past year from suspected members of the regional terror group Jemaah Islamiyah for explosives training, according to a report on the interrogation of Gamal Baharan obtained by The Associated Press...Last October, Baharan was told to undergo scuba training in southwestern Palawan province, the report said. He periodically received cell phone messages from Janjalani and Sulaiman “asking him how many fathoms he would be able to dive,” the report said.

His training was in preparation for a Jemaah Islamiyah bombing plot on unspecified targets outside the Philippines that would require “underwater operation,” the report quoted him as saying.

Hindustan Times is on the story, too, citing the same AP report.

Hmmm. More to worry about.

I wonder if this is related?
AUSTRALIA could be the target of the next Jemaah Islamiah attack to be launched from possibly Indonesia or the Philippines, new intelligence warns....

Labor foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd told Parliament yesterday new terror intelligence suggested the Philippines and Indonesia as likely launch bases for attacks against Australian interests.

Update: Just a reminder that Al Qaeda diver attacks are not a new topic of concern from August 2003.

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