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Thread: The Islamic Insurgents (catch all)

  1. #21
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Default Filling in some gaps in the cited article...

    I’m not surprised to find this article here, and I really have to say something about it. Aside from the melodramatic tone, it is a really striking piece, not for what it says, but for what it does not say. Right at the heart of the story Bowden is telling is one of the most bizarre and controversial incidents in the bizarre and controversial history of the Abu Sayyaf – and Bowden doesn’t even mention it. He had to have known about the incident, which features prominently in every other account, and it’s something that one would expect to put a journalist’s salivary glands into overdrive, but in Bowden’s account it simply didn’t happen.

    The omission starts with a factual error. Bowden writes (of ASG leader Aldam Tilao):

    His target that spring morning was Amanpulo, the most expensive diving resort on the southern coast of Palawan, where he and the others hoped to harvest a crop of wealthy foreign hostages. They would extort large ransom payments from the victims’ families and employers, and shatter the friendly calm vital to the Philippine tourism industry. Palawan was considered completely safe. The trouble in recent years had been confined for the most part to the southern islands. This thrust across the Sulu Sea was a bold move by Abu Sayyaf, and something of a stretch. Indeed, when Tilao and his men arrived in the unfamiliar waters off Palawan, in the predawn darkness, they got lost. The plan called for them to strike before sunrise and set off on the long return trip while it was still dark. But with dawn rapidly approaching, they grabbed several local night fishermen off their boats and pressed them into service as guides. Abandoning their primary goal, the raiders settled for a resort called Dos Palmas.


    This sounds all well and good, except that Amanpulo isn’t on “the southern coast of Palawan”. It’s not even close to the southern coast of Palawan. It is in fact in the Cuyo Islands, northeast of Palawan, over 300km from where Bowden places it. That’s not a minor error, for reasons that become clear as we review the rest of the omissions.

    Now we get to the truly bizarre bit:

    On the fifth night, the kidnappers and their captives slipped off the boat into the warm, chest-high water off Basilan and walked ashore through the lazy lapping of the tide. Behind them, the spotlights of fishing vessels dotted the horizon. Islanders lived along the shoreline, but like these guerrillas, they knew how to move inland along narrow trails that pushed uphill into the black jungle. By straying just ten feet, a person could vanish into the dense vegetation.

    The first time I read this I was so astonished that I went back and clicked around, thinking somehow I’d missed a page. I hadn’t.

    Here’s what was left out:

    The ASG and the hostages did not “move inland along narrow trails that pushed uphill into the black jungle”. On June 1st, shortly after landing, they were engaged by AFP units in the town of Tuburan. The ASG commandeered a vehicle, abandoned 3 hostages that wouldn’t fit into it, and withdrew, with the AFP in pursuit. At about 11pm, they entered the town of Lamitan, where they took over the Jose Ma Torres Hospital, taking more hostages in the process. The hospital was surrounded by an AFP force of 2000-3000 men (accounts vary) supported by armor and helicopters.

    Late the next morning, three hostages left the hospital in what was officially described as an escape, a “dramatic dash to freedom” one writer called it. One was Reghis Romero, a businessman who had amassed a fortune estimated in the billions of pesos, primarily through government contracts. The others were his mistress Rizza Santos and an 8 year old boy named RJ Recio. Their exit was made from the hospital’s front door.

    Later that day, the troops at the rear of the hospital left the area. Military officials do not deny the troop movement, but describe it as tactical redeployment.

    At about 5pm, a vehicle with arms and ASG members arrived through the front entrance of the hospital compound. Hostages claim that they heard the ASG arrivals state that they gained access by claiming to be bodyguards of Basilan Governor (and later Congressman) Wahab Akbar, a man with the dubious distinction of having at various times held leadership positions in the MNLF, MILF, ASG, and the Philippine Government. (After several interviews I personally concluded that through this chain of affiliations Akbar had served, with fanatical loyalty, a single cause: the ascension and prosperity of Wahab Akbar.) There are also several eyewitness accounts claiming that Akbar visited the hospital during the siege, which Akbar denied.

    At about 5:30pm, the ASG and the hostages left by the back gate, unmolested. Hostages later claimed that the ASG appeared unprepared for combat during the exit and unconcerned with the possibility that they might have to fight their way out. Well outside the compound, there was a brief firefight with a small group of police and civilian volunteers, in which two hostages were wounded and left behind.

    At about 1am the AFP launched an all-out assault on the hospital compound, which by that time had been empty for over 6 hours.

    There are some obvious questions here. Reghis Romero was the big ticket item among the hostages, it seems odd that he would have been given an opportunity to escape, especially through the front door, where according to accounts by other hostages the bulk of the ASG contingent was placed. The arrival of arms and additional ASG forces during the siege is inexplicable. The “tactical redeployment” that left the rear of the hospital unguarded is beyond inexplicable.

    Here’s the unofficial version:

    The ASG were never headed for Amanpulo, they were going to Dos Palmas from the start. This is why Bowden’s geographical error is significant. If Amanpulo were in fact on the southern coast of Palawan, the diversion story would be credible. Given the actual location, the account becomes absurd.

    The ASG went to Dos Palmas for a reason: Reghis Romero. Romero had been using the resort as a love nest for some time, the ASG had a tip from an inside contact. They knew he was there and they went and got him. Ransom negotiations began by satellite phone immediately after the kidnapping, and the ransom was prepared and a private aircraft made available before the group even landed. The ransom (varied reports say 17 or 25 million pesos) was delivered, negotiations were held, the money was divided. Romero, Santos, and Recio were released, and as part of the deal the ASG and the hostages were permitted to depart unmolested.

    That’s a nasty story, but if you ask just about anyone in the Philippines and it’s what you’ll hear. It also seems more consistent with events than the official story. Questions, of course, were asked. An inquiry by the Philippine Senate concluded that there was strong circumstantial evidence to support allegations of collusion, and recommended court martial for 3 officers. No court martial was ever held.

    It should perhaps be noted that there is a long history of allegations that Philippine civilian, police, and military officials are routinely involved in collusion and profit sharing with kidnappers, bank robbers, drug dealers, illegal loggers, etc, ad infinitum, and that there is strong circumstantial evidence suggesting that this does occur on a regular basis.

    I have other questions about the article, most notably about the allegations of Aldam Tilao’s AQ connections and training abroad, but this post is way too long already.

    Getting back to Bowden and his article… given the attention the Lamitan incident has already achieved, I cannot begin to imagine how Bowden and the Atlantic, both with fairly credible reputations, could completely exclude it from their account. The only explanation I can think of is that it is not quite compatible with the rather heroic tone taken by the rest of the story… but is that reputable journalism? What ever happened to “warts and all”? If Bowden had reviewed events and concluded, citing some deep dark source in the intel community, that all was above board, that I could understand… but to omit the events entirely?

    It strikes me that Bowden clearly depended heavily on military and intel sources for his inside information, and that these sources may have insisted as a precondition for participation that the incident not be discussed. That idea does not paint a very pretty picture of Bowden or the Atlantic – in fact it would make the article something approaching disinformation. It’s the only explanation I can think of, though.

    If anybody here has a better one, I’d love to hear it.
    Last edited by Dayuhan; 06-24-2009 at 01:58 AM. Reason: correction of typo error

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    Maxwell stated what I believe to be the more accurate explanation - the primary (potentially only) source of the information was Sabban. There was too much to lose for Sabban or his subordinates to shed light on the darker gray details of the incident.

    In all probability, Bowden never got the true accounting.

  3. #23
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Boyer View Post
    Maxwell stated what I believe to be the more accurate explanation - the primary (potentially only) source of the information was Sabban. There was too much to lose for Sabban or his subordinates to shed light on the darker gray details of the incident.

    In all probability, Bowden never got the true accounting.
    It's entirely possible that Sabban was Bowden's only source of information - that wouldn't exactly be good journalism, but it's possible. It still wouldn't explain the oversight. Normally before speaking to any source a journalist would at least review some basic background information on the story, and even the most cursory attempt at homework would have brought him up against the Lamitan incident. Normally, also, the Atlantic editors would have run a basic fact-check and sent the story for review by somebody familiar with the events. Either would have immediately revealed the omission: this is not obscure information, it's probably the most visible and widely discussed incident in the ASG story.

    Either we have to believe that there was not even the slightest attempt made at background research, fact-checking, or review, or we have to look at the possibility that information central to the story was deliberately omitted. To put it more bluntly, we have either an extraordinary lack of competence or an extraordinary lack of ethics.

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    Your point is quite valid.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Holy Warriors

    The UK Channel Four documentary series 'Un-Reported World' latest report by Peter Oborne is on the fighting in Mindanao, between the MILF and others. Article: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/u...009/episode-12 and a podcast is available (hopefully available beyond the UK). Includes footage of a MILF assembly, of four hundred and new recruits motivation.

    There is some odd footage of a village destroyed allegedly by the Filipino army, but in the background are intact, inhabited houses as the reporter walks through burnt out concrete blocks buildings.

    I was not aware that post-1945 Christians have arrived on the island and the war can be seen as a local, sectarian conflict over land ownership. Christian militia are also visited and interviewed.

    Grim report.

    davidbfpo
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-03-2009 at 03:14 PM. Reason: Slowly built up as watching podcast.

  6. #26
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Can't view it here... looked at the synopsis, though, and noticed this:

    A few kilometres further south, the Ligawasan marsh covers 3000 square kilometres of central Mindanao. It's at the heart of the war, and is home to many of the MILF units. And here Unreported World reveals that the conflict is not just about religious hatred - it's also a fight over land and mineral wealth. The area includes vast deposits of natural gas and oil worth billions of dollars. With so much at stake, Muslims and Christians are equally determined they will never surrender.
    Did they actually cite any evidence to support the allegations of "vast deposits of natural gas and oil"? This claim has been floating about for some time, generally without any serious supporting data. As far as I know, the area is regarded as promising but no meaningful exploration has ever been done due to the long-running security problems. It does make lovely fodder for all kinds of conspiracy theorists though.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    I was not aware that post-1945 Christians have arrived on the island and the war can be seen as a local, sectarian conflict over land ownership. Christian militia are also visited and interviewed.
    This is one of the core issues of the conflict, especially in the MILF areas on the Mindanao mainland. During the 50s and 60s the Government ran homestead programs giving away Mindanao land to settlers, predominantly from the Visayas. The primary reason appears to have been alleviating agrarian unrest and overpopulation in the plantation-dominated sugar producing islands of Negros and Iloilo, though some claim that dilution of the Muslim majority was also intended. If that is the case, the goal was accomplished: Muslims are now a numerical minority in much of what they regard as their ancestral domain.

    When fighting started in 1970, the actual combatants were immigrant and indigenous gangs and militias. The government had an opportunity to send military forces in to keep peace and act as a neutral broker in the conflict, instead they took sides, fighting on behalf of the settlers. The consequences of that decision are still being felt.

    Many of the settlers are now in their 4th and 5th generations, and regard themselves as native to Mindanao. They have nowhere else to go. Most are poor, though their political leaders are quite wealthy (leaders on both sides use the conflict to justify their own control and their own corruption: "you need us to protect you from them" is a constant refrain). This situation makes a direct vote on autonomy or any ancestral domain issue complex, as the immigrant population, a majority, will vote against any such deal. Indigenous leaders claim that only the indigenous population should be allowed to vote on the question, a proposal that is naturally rejected out of hand by the immigrants. Adding to the complications, immigrant and indigenous villages are not geographically contiguous. A village-to-village vote on inclusion in an autonomous region would result in what has been called a "dalmatian region", obviously not manageable.

    Very ugly situation with no easy solutions...

  7. #27
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    A good insight to post-WWII US involvement in both the Philippines and Vietnam is Ed Lansdale's "In the Midst of Wars."

    Looks like you can get on Amazon for $25. I was lucky enough to find one in a box of give-away items at condo complex I lived in in Kaneohe, Hawaii. I didn't know what it was, or who Lansdale was at the time, but I was working OEF-P issues, so I picked it up and took it home. First Edition hardbound, published in 1972 by Harper and Row.
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default One question, one answer

    Dayuhan asked:

    Did they actually cite any evidence to support the allegations of "vast deposits of natural gas and oil"?
    No, the programme had an in the field interview with a lady involved in development work and she cited the oil and gas figures.

    Sorry the programme cannot be viewed outside the UK, even though on the web (this has happened before with BBC items). Bob could you view it, I now realise Dayuhan is in the Phillipines.

    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Dayuhan asked:
    No, the programme had an in the field interview with a lady involved in development work and she cited the oil and gas figures.

    Sorry the programme cannot be viewed outside the UK, even though on the web (this has happened before with BBC items). Bob could you view it, I now realise Dayuhan is in the Phillipines.

    davidbfpo
    From the website, accessed from the U.S.. Unfortunate, it looks interesting.

    Rights agreements mean that our 4oD service is only available in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, (although C4 does not always have rights for programmes in ROI). Even if you are a citizen of the UK or ROI you cannot access the service from abroad

  10. #30
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    No, the programme had an in the field interview with a lady involved in development work and she cited the oil and gas figures.
    MNLF ex-chair Nur Misuari announced not long ago that "some American oil engineers" had told him that Liguasan's oil and gas reserves were worth $850 billion. He didn't say who the individuals were or for whom they worked. The MILF has also occasionally made statements suggesting such reserves, as have occasional government representatives. As far as I can determine, though, no actual wells have been drilled and only very superficial preparatory survey work has been done due to the security situation, which has been very bad for decades - even the MILF doesn't really control the area. I have yet to see any credible, exploration-based estimates of recoverable reserves.

    The claim does make lively fodder for a whole range of "all about oil" theories. Some claim that USIP's involvement in the MOA-AD process was part of a dastardly American plan to splinter off an independent Mindanao Sultanate, which could then be forced into oil deals by the US. Others claim that US support for GRP efforts in Mindanao is a tradeoff for eventual oil concessions from the GRP once the area is subjugated. There are a number of variations; none of them make much sense but they provide abundant distraction from the actual issues.

    Another oft-overlooked historical quirk is that since the Spanish colonists never effectively subjugated or administered Muslim Mindanao and the American colonial regime governed it as a separate entity, the area was in actual practice only joined to the Philippines in 1945. During early discussions on independence Muslim leaders repeatedly asked to be granted a separate independence or to be retained as a US colony rather than turned over to "the Filipinos".

    From “The Zamboanga Declaration of Rights and Purposes”, 1924:

    “…In the event that the United States grants independence to the Philippine Islands without provision for our retention under the American flag, it is our firm intention and resolve to declare ourselves an independent constitutional sultanate to be known to the world as Moro Nation….”
    From the Dasnalan Declaration, issued in 1935 by a group of 189 Lanao Datus:

    "With regard to the forthcoming Philippine Independence, we foresee that the condition will be characterized by unrest, suffering and misery…. We do not want to be included in the Philippine Independence"
    "Unrest, suffering, and misery" might be seen as a bit of prophecy.

    Mindanao Muslims were never allowed to vote on whether to become part of the post-independence Philippines, nor were they allowed to vote on whether Mindanao lands should be given away to settlers. The concept of majority rule apparently only applied once the immigrants became the majority.

  11. #31
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Default JI/ASG "merger": Dueling Experts...

    On one hand, this story has been getting a fair bit of play in Manila:

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/67043/j...iterror-expert
    Jemaah Islamiyah, Abu Sayyaf now merged, says antiterror expert

    The Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) regional terror network and the local Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the Sulu Archipelago are already so integrated they operate almost as one organization, according to an international counterterrorism expert.

    The link between the JI and the ASG is “almost complete,” said Professor Rohan Gunarathna, head of the management staff of the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore...
    And for the other side:

    http://www.philstar.com/nation/artic...ticleid=732196

    Expert: No Abu Sayyaf, JI merger yet

    A counter terrorism expert today denied the accuracy of a report that the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and regional terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) have already merged in Mindanao.

    In an interview with philstar.com, Rommel Banlaoi, chairman of the board and executive director of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research (PIPVTR), said the two groups have not yet reached the level of unification.

    ““It is not accurate to say that there is a merger of the two groups as of this moment,” Banlaoi said, but cited that the two terror groups have been attempting to join their forces in the south...
    I'll be curious to see if and how some of the experts I listen to (notably Zachary Abuza and Sidney Jones) weigh in on this one.

    My own take is that neither ASG nor JI have sufficiently coherent leadership to "merge" in any meaningful way: both are more diverse collections of splinter groups than coherent organizations. For JI in particular, it's a bit over the top to refer to their "forces" in Mindanao.

    Still, while the thought of a "merger" between ASG and JI may be a bit melodramatic, there are ASG splinter factions that are undoubtedly cooperating with the scattering of JI operatives who have taken refuge in Mindanao, and they could certainly make a mess. I don't see some new super organization emerging, but in many ways a small cell of core JI people and members of the fairly small Islamist faction within ASG would be a greater threat in the terror sphere than something larger and more visible. The bigger an organization is the more likely it is to be penetrated and compromised.

    In the past, military pressure on the ASG has shut down the profitability of the criminal operations, greatly reducing manpower (most are in it for the money and have little if any concern for political agendas). Paradoxically, that has made the organization more dangerous even as its overt force and footprint are reduced, as the core members remaining are more inclined to ally with more political organizations (such as JI) and to make their presence felt by acts of terrorism.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

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    Both analysts make fair points, and in some regards it is largely a matter or perception, because Rohan may mean something different by merge than we may be thinking. It is indisputable that there are links between ASG and JI in the southern Philippines. They have been linked for years because they have mutual interests and goals. Also agree with the other analyst that ASG is splintered, so if a group or two of the ASG has merged with JI elements in Mindanao does that mean there is no light between the two organizations? Our does it simply mean that individuals and sub groups from each organization have collocated and cooperate? I suspect the relationship is dynamic and constantly evolving. One thing for certain, while both groups have taken a serious pounding, neither of them is out of business, and we shouldn't confuse our tactical victories with strategic victory. Even is JI and ASG as we knew them historically are finished, new groups composed of former members will emerge. We'll know we won when the enemy tells us we have won, right now they're continuing to adapt to the security environment, which is good news for us because it is hard for them to act now, but we haven't heard the last of them.
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 10-01-2011 at 05:15 AM. Reason: Grammar

  13. #33
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    I think the risk here lies in clinging to the idea that we're still dealing with coherent organizations with set goals and interests. I don't really think that's the case. Certainly there are individuals and small clusters with the incentive and capacity to make a mess, and that needs to be dealt with, but it requires a different emphasis than what an organizational focus would suggest.

    ASG is a bit of an anomaly. The group has been most visible and drawn the most aggressive response when its political concerns and affiliation with international jihad have been at their lowest points: when the group was a high-profile bandit gang with a very nominal Islamist agenda. From a terror perspective, the group has been most dangerous when its criminal activities have been suppressed and the small Islamist core tries to track the remaining organization back to its jihadi roots. That happened in 2003/4, when Khadafy Janjalani was forced to run out to Cotabato. He ended up linking up with the Manila-based Rajah Solaiman Movement, composed largely of Filipinos who had converted to Islam while working in the Middle East, and the outcome was the 2004 Superferry bombing. That link looked to be a real problem for a while, but RSM was taken down, breaking the Manila link, and Janjalani was eventually killed as well. While there's currently no leader of KJ's visibility, it's certainly possible that someone with similar views might try a similar maneuver. It's entirely likely that a small cell composed of JI veterans and former ideological core members of the ASG might try for a high profile attack to put themselves back on the map and draw some resources, and a small cell would be in many ways more dangerous than a large organization.

    I'm not at all sure that "we", as in the US, can "win", because it was never really our fight to begin with. All of the conditions to support insurgency still exist in the Tausug/Sama region. What will result from those conditions remains highly uncertain. It would be superficially logical for the MILF to expand its influence into what is now a leadership vacuum, but the Maguindanao/Maranao dominance in the MILF has always been an obstacle to that. An MNLF resurgence seems equally unlikely. Some jihadi groups might try to pick up the slack, but they will have to focus on the local concerns and the local agenda to gain much traction: the populace really isn't much concerned with the global jihadi agenda.

    We'll see. Very hard at this point to say what will emerge, but it's not likely to be peace. Trying to analyze or understand the situation in an artificially imposed GWOT context is not going to produce any useful conclusion.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

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    Unfortunately our perceptions are shaped by GWOT (even though that title is no longer vogue), so instead of trying to understand the context we simply look to connect dots between individuals and AQ, and they're there. Those connections taken out of context as they are do give a very distorted picture. We could have closed shop after the Burhams were recovered, but the Philippines like other contingencies is another example of where we wait for the government to reform so we can leave, but perhaps by staying we are actually stalling that process. I have no idea how it will play out over the next few years (nor does anyone else).

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    Default Philippines say arrested hackers funded by Saudi group

    Once the smoke clears and the story becomes clearer I'll probably roll it up another thread. A "possibility" this may belong to the LeT thread, but simply too early to say.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/1...7AP06A20111126

    Philippine police and the FBI have arrested four people that Manila said were paid by a militant Saudi Arabian-based group to hack into U.S. telecom AT&T's system, but the company said it was neither targeted nor breached.
    The Philippines' Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said those arrested in Wednesday's operation in Manila with the Federal Bureau of Investigation were paid by the same group the FBI said had funded the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

    "The hacking activity resulted in almost $2 million (1 million pound) in losses incurred by the company," the CIDG said in a statement.
    This may be another example of where organized crime and terrorist converge, and they assumed the Philippines would be present an easy operating environment? Interesting claim that a group in Saudi funded the LeT attack in Mumbai. Suspect we'll more, perhaps a lot more in the days to come.

  16. #36
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Mumbai attack Saudi funded?

    Bill,

    Interesting claim that a group in Saudi funded the LeT attack in Mumbai.
    I'm reading and enjoying Stephen Tankel's book on LeT and he makes it clear some of their funding did come from private parties in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia. Not got to the Mumbai chapter yet and will report back.
    davidbfpo

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/wo...errorists.html

    According to the agency, the men were working with a group called Jemaah Islamiyah, a terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda and responsible for the 2002 bombings in Bali, which killed 202 people.

    The group has been held responsible for several other terrorist attacks in Southeast Asia, mostly in Indonesia but including the Philippines.

    If the new accusation holds up, it would point to a troubling connection between hackers and terrorist cells.
    Now they're suggesting it is JI. What is interesting is the potential current link between JI members (potentially) and Arab financiers. For those wiser on this type of hacking incident (probably most folks between the ages of 14 and 35) is the intent to make money or acquire sensitive information? Why did the Saudi group fund this activity? An investment to start up an illicit business, or to facilitate future attacks?
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 11-27-2011 at 06:01 AM.

  18. #38
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Local reports suggest that the hacker group was stealing money from the victim companies and diverting it to their sponsors while keeping a percentage.... in short, that the money flow was not from the Saudi group to the Filipino group, but the other way around. The alleged "links" to various organizations are not entirely clear and should be treated with skepticism.

    An interesting situation, but the published information is far too vague and incomplete to reach any kind of conclusion.
    Last edited by Dayuhan; 11-27-2011 at 02:36 AM.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

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    Dayuhan, I should have reached out to your initially based on your location, but as you wrote not enough information available yet to even begin to connect the dots on this one.

    All the articles said the hackers were financed by a Middle Eastern Cell, and the hackers get commissions, so what is the motivation of the hackers to work for commissions instead of taking it all? The Saudi national appears to play a key facilitation role that actually is critical in the over all business scheme?
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 11-27-2011 at 06:12 AM.

  20. #40
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default Gentlemen,

    and for each of you, Bill, David and Steve, I really mean the term "gentlemen" ...

    Here is a "WHAT IF": If this hacker effort and also Mombai (where folks were killed) were "materially supported" ($$$) by a "Saudi Group", can that "Saudi Group" be "declared hostile" and its members "neutralized" (killed, captured or converted - with "killed" always an option) ?

    Theoretically, a member of a "declared hostile" group (engaged in an "armed conflict") can be killed anytime, anyplace - whether armed or unarmed, etc.

    What think you ?

    Not, BTW, as to "legality".

    What is your gut reaction to whacking these guys - IF they "materially supported" Mombai ?

    Regards

    Mike

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