Philippines: October 2, 2003


The MILF is openly denying links to al Qaeda, saying all such talk is a government plot to discredit the MILF. But much of the evidence for al Qaeda support comes from al Qaeda members who were captured outside the Philippines. The truth is probably that some factions of the MILF support al Qaeda, some don't. A growing MILF problem is this factionalism. The factions were always there, for the MILF began as a coalition of Moslem rebel groups. Over the past few years, as government attacks have destroyed MILF base camps and captured key leaders, the factions have become more popular. This is making it more difficult for the MILF leadership to negotiate any deals with the government.


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