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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Mindanao as Terrorism Center?

China View quotes a US official here:
An official of the US Embassy in Manila has described the southern Philippine island of Mindanao as "the new Mecca for terrorism" for the reported infiltration by the southeast Asian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah..

He said that Washington has found "conclusive evidence" that JI,held responsible for the 2002 Bali attack, is maintaining camps in MILF-controlled areas in Mindanao.

    "The main information that I could divulge here is that certainJI operatives have been arrested by the Philippine authorities, and they have admitted freely that they have these links with the MILF and with ASG. But there is a great deal of evidence in all various channels, and it is conclusive that there are links between certain factions of the MILF and JI," said Mussomeli.

    "What we do find is that that is seems that the links are stronger, that Mindanao is almost...the new Mecca for terrorism," he added.

    The Philippine government has denied that the MILF is linked with the terrorist groups as a whole, but admitted that some factions of the rebel group could be linked with JI or ASG. (JI).

Here's a site that purports to tie the MILF with JI and anthrax:
Bin Laden reportedly purchased anthrax a half decade ago from a supplier in North Korea. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front ("MILF"), a Southeast Asia radical group associated with and funded by Bin Laden, arranged for the purchase. Al Qaeda's anthrax researcher Yazid Sufaat was a member of JI (Islamic Group). The report first appeared in March 1999 in Arabic newspapers in connection with the confession of a senior Egyptian islamist militant, Ahmad Ibrahim al-Najjar. Al-Najjar had served and then betrayed Zawahiri in Yemen...
The MILF, the largest Islamic separatist group in the Philippines with 15,000 members, is linked to al-Qaeda with members that have trained in Afghanistan. The MILF has ties with, and has trained, members of the JI (Islamic Group). According to Ambassador Albert del Rosario, the Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to the United States, the MILF ( like the Abu Sayyaf) had received funds from a purported charity, the International Islamic Relief Organization ("IIRO"). The charity was established in the Philippines by Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa.

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