^

Opinion

EDITORIAL - Terrorist links

-
With the ease of border crossing in Southeast Asia, it’s not unlikely that more Jemaah Islamiyah militants have arrived in Mindanao, as disclosed recently by Sen. Panfilo Lacson. The fresh batch of 26 militants reportedly arrived last Jan. 5, led by Abdulkiram Nawaz and Mujair al-Ghozi, brother of slain JI bomb maker Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi.

Lacson, a former chief of the Philippine National Police, said the arrival of the 26 mostly Indonesian militants was facilitated by certain members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. He also said the new arrivals have been training members of the Abu Sayyaf and MILF in the ways of terrorism in a site called Camp Mangaturing, located in the boundaries of Upper Minabay, Buldon and Kapatagan towns in Lanao del Sur.

As usual the MILF leadership was quick to deny the story – or at least the part about the involvement of some MILF members in terrorist activities. JI, loosely linked to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network, has been blamed for the deadly nightclub bombings in Bali, Indonesia in 2003 and a hotel bombing in Jakarta last year as well as the Rizal Day bombings in Metro Manila in 2000. Lacson was the national police chief when the suspects in the Rizal Day bombings were apprehended.

Yesterday representatives of the government and the MILF formally agreed to improve monitoring and implementation of a ceasefire preparatory to the resumption of formal peace negotiations in Malaysia. MILF leaders have also promised cooperation in capturing fugitives who seek refuge in MILF-held areas.

MILF leaders may be sincere in their desire for peace, but the group’s links to JI remain a major stumbling block to peace initiatives. Stories about JI terror training in MILF-held areas refuse to go away. And Abu Sayyaf chieftain Khadaffy Janjalani is suspected to have enjoyed MILF protection after he fled Basilan in the summer of 2002. Reports of JI training activities in Mindanao, with MILF blessings, come not just from local sources but also from security officers in neighboring countries that are dealing with the JI threat. No peace effort will succeed unless MILF leaders show resolve in purging their ranks of terrorist elements.

ABDULKIRAM NAWAZ AND MUJAIR

ABU SAYYAF

BULDON AND KAPATAGAN

CAMP MANGATURING

FATHUR ROHMAN

GHOZI

JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH

KHADAFFY JANJALANI

LACSON

MILF

RIZAL DAY

  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with