Philippines: Shutting Down Sanctuaries for Islamic Terrorists

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February 18, 2006: Although Filipino police and troops have captured 310 Islamic terrorists since 2000, the search goes on more, especially foreign ones. The Moslem rebels in the south have created large areas where government officials cannot safely visit without an army escort. Under those circumstances, wanted Islamic terrorists have been sneaking into the southern Philippines and hiding out. But with the peace deal with the largest Moslem rebel group (the MILF), the search for known Islamic terrorists, especially from Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf, is becoming more successful.

February 17, 2006: The U.S. has been using UAVs a lot in the search for Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the southern Philippines. Rewards are offered for civilians who return the wreckage of UAVs that crash. Two have been recovered in this way, although in one case the rumor was going around that the wreckage of one UAV was particularly valuable. In fact, the UAVs use off-the-shelf technology, and recovering the wreckage is part of the investigation to find out what design flaw caused the crash, and to fix the flaw. The most commonly used aircraft is the Raven, an under ten pound micro-UAV.

February 15, 2006: Clashes with the NPA in the north left one soldier dead and four wounded.

February 12, 2006: The peace deal with the MILF is expected to increase economic activity in the Moslem south, and at the same time make it much more difficult for Islamic terrorists to hide out there.

 

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