Skip to comments.Up to six dead in Al-Qaeda-linked prisoner revolt in Philippines
Posted on 03/13/2005 11:37:50 PM PST by FairOpinion
MANILA (AFP) - Jailed Al-Qaeda-linked militants remain holed up in a maximum-security Philippines prison after overpowering guards in a bloody escape attempt that has left up to six people dead in a shootout.
Hundreds of snipers and police special forces units have surrounded a group of armed militants on an upstairs floor of the Camp Bagong Diwa jail and are awaiting orders to storm the building, police said.
The militants overpowered the guards and seized three of their guns during a routine early morning headcount of the 435 inmates, who include 129 members of the Al-Qaeda-linked Muslim Abu Sayyaf gang on trial for kidnapping and murder.
The ensuing shoot-out died down mid-morning as negotiators using loudspeakers started trying to persuade the prisoners to give themselves up, officials said.
The Manila jail holds many of the top detained leaders of the Abu Sayyaf as well as some of the suspects in the worst terrorist attacks in the Philippines.
They include the suspects in the 2000 bombing of a Manila overhead rail system that claimed more than 20 lives and the firebombing of a ferry on Manila Bay last year that left more than 100 people dead, national police spokesman Leopoldo Bataoil told reporters.
Superintendent Agerino Cruz, the Manila police spokesman, told reporters three jail guards and one prisoner had been killed.
Other police sources however put the death toll at six including four Abu Sayyaf inmates and two prison guards. The sources said a prisoner and a jail guard were wounded.
An AFP photographer at the scene saw two casualties, both wearing the uniforms of prison guards, being dragged out of the building by colleagues and loaded onto ambulances.
Manila police chief Avelino Razon said the uprising appeared to have been instigated by "a core group of 10".
"We have established lines of communication with the inmates," he said. "We are trying to isolate the detainees who are not part of this incident."
The gunmen are "hardened criminals, terrorists," national police chief Arturo Lomibao told reporters.
"We are not going to think twice if necessary to launch the final option," he said, referring to a prison assault.
On the upper floors of the prison some of the inmates, many of them naked from the waist up, peered out from behind bars. It was unclear how many of the prisoners were taking part in the revolt.
Late morning Parouk Hussin, the governor of a Muslim self-rule area in the south called the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and legislator Mujib Hataman entered the prison compound to help authorities negotiate with the gunmen.
Bataoil told reporters the gunmen were believed to be led by Alhamser Limbong and Tahir Abdul Gafar, both on trial for the kidnapping of a group of tourists including three Americans in the western Philippines in 2001.
Several of the captives, including two Americans, were killed in the year-long hostage drama that ended with the rescue of the third American, Christian missionary Gracia Burnham.
Since then the Abu Sayyaf group, set up in the 1990s allegedly with money from Al-Qaeda, has entered the US State Department's "foreign terrorist organization" blacklist.
Limbong is also a suspect in the Manila ferry bombing.
Among the 129 Abu Sayyaf inmates in the prison are senior leaders Galib Andang, alias "Commander Robot", who was arrested in 2003, and Najdmi Sabdula who was detained in 2001.
Both are defendants in the kidnappings of 21 Western tourists and Asian resort workers in the Malaysian island resort of Sipadan in 2000. The group was ransomed off for million dollars.
The shooting was the latest in a series of jailbreak attempts involving detained Muslim militants in the Philippines.
About 11 months ago eight escapees were killed after at least 53 prisoners, including about 20 Abu Sayyaf suspects, broke out of a jail on the Abu Sayyaf stronghold of Basilan island in the south.
* Hamsiraji Sali : an Abu Sayyaf leader based in Basilan, Philippines. Iraqi financial support for the extremist group, which now styles itself as the Al-Harakat-ul Al-Islamiya (Islamic Movement), started coming in when the Abu Sayyaf was able to demonstrate that it was capable of putting the Philippines in a bad light, said Hamsiraji Sali, a bandit leader based in Basilan in a 2003 phone interview. - "PHILIPPINES: ABU SAYYAF LEADER SAYS IRAQIS OFFERING FINANCIAL SUPPORT," by Guzman and TJ Burgonio, carried by Philippine newspaper Philippine Daily Inquirer web site on March 2, 2003 via BBC Monitoring International Reports
Thanks for making the point and supporting it with facts.
You are right, there is very little said about Iraq's support of terrorism under Saddam.
FEBRUARY 11, 2003 : (PHILIPPINES : IRAQI DIPLOMAT LINKED TO ABU SAYYAF) The Philippine government said Tuesday it will continue to monitor the activities of an Iraqi diplomat for alleged links to a Philippine Muslim extremist group, the Abu Sayyaf. The Iraqi Embassy denied a Philippine intelligence report, announced by Foreign Secretary Blas Ople on Monday, that Iraqi Consul Husham Husain received a call from an Abu Sayyaf member shortly after a bombing that killed three people, including an American Green Beret, in southern Zamboanga city last year. The Abu Sayyaf member, who was not identified, was later arrested. Authorities offered no other details of the alleged incident. "Allegations of diplomatic involvement in terrorism constitute a grave matter anywhere in the world and should be dealt with vigilance and immediacy," presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye said. "The investigation should leave no stone unturned, and the results must be made known to the Filipino people and the international community."
------ AP WorldStream via COMTEX
FEBRUARY 13, 2003 : (PHILIPPINES EXPELS IRAQI "DIPLOMAT" HUSSAIN IN RETALIATION FOR IRAQI-SPONSORED BOMBING WHICH TOOK THE LIFE OF A US GREEN BERET & PHILIPPINE CITIZENS) Iraqi embassy second secretary Hasham Hussain was expected to leave at 11:55 last night [Feb 13, 2003] via Emirates Air. Officials of Ninoy Aquino International Airport refused to divulge details of Hussain's flight. Hussain was declared persona non grata by Foreign Affairs Blas Ople after government learned of his links with Abu Sayyaf when the bandits bombed a restaurant in Zamboanga City last year. An American Green Beret was killed in the bombing. Lawmakers, however, saw Ople's move as succumbing to US President George W. Bush's pressure to expel the Iraqi diplomat.
Ilocos Norte Rep. Imee Marcos, Akbayan Rep. Loretta Ann Rosales and Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo said Ople's decision to declare Hussain persona non grata reflects the clout Washington enjoys over Manila. They said Hussain's expulsion was an offshoot of Bush's telephone conversation with President Arroyo last Tuesday. But Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Lauro Baja Jr. said Bush did not compel President Arroyo to expel Hussain. It was the decision of the oversight committee and "it was reached even before President Bush called up President Arroyo," Baja said.
He said Hussain, the second Iraqi diplomat to be removed from the Philippines in 12 years after former first secretary Muwafaq Jasim Al-Ani was kicked out for conspiring to bomb the Thomas Jefferson Cultural Center in Makati City in 1991, can no longer return as his country's emissary.
He also downplayed Vice President and former foreign affairs chief Teofisto Guingona's call for a probe: "What is there to investigate? The report is already complete. (Doing so) would cast doubt on the capability and credibility of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency."
Baja insisted that the crisis should be solved through proper diplomatic channels with the government of Saddam Hussein acting on the expelled diplomat. He did not expect relations between the two countries to sour.
Iraqi retaliation? In a related development, Marcos is worried that a retaliation might be forthcoming, not necessarily from Baghdad but from Saddam Hussein's unseen allies. "(Expulsion might create) serious diplomatic rift with Iraq, an old friend of the Philippines in the Arab world. It may be used to drag us into America's war not of our own making," Marcos said.
------ "EXPELLED IRAQI ENVOY DEPARTS," With Lolit Rivera-Acosta, Rio Araja, Manila Standard February 14, 2003
* The Philippine government expelled Hisham al Hussein on February 13, 2003, just five weeks before the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Cell phone records indicate he had spoken with Abu Madja and Hamsiraji Sali, two leaders of Abu Sayyaf, al-Qaedas de facto franchise for the Philippines. The timing was particularly suspicious, as he had been in contact with the Abu Sayyaf terrorists just before and after they conducted an attack in Zamboanga City.
Abu Sayyafs nail-filled bomb exploded on October 2, 2002, injuring 23 individuals and killing two Filipinos and one American. That American was U.S. Special Forces Sergeant First Class Mark Wayne Jackson, age 40. 3 posted on 10/21/2004 2:34:49 AM PDT by igoramus987
Lotsa incarcerated terrorists.
Well then, no use in talking with them, kill them. Set the place on fire and shoot them if if they try to escape.
The only upside is that this is good target practice for snipers.
Pakistan's security force has arrested 10 terrorists in North Wazirstan along the border area of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Pakistani officials say the operation was launched Sunday after intelligence reports indicated that several al-Qaida suspects were hiding in the mountainous region, about 300 kilometers southwest of Islamabad.
The latest offensive comes after the Pakistani army warned local tribesman to stop protecting terrorists, or face military action.
Last week, Pakistani soldiers killed two foreign al-Qaida members and arrested 11 in the same region.
Some information for this report provided by Reuters.
I'll have to look and see if I can locate a pic of the SLA shootout. Same tactics used there as well.
Call it Gitmo-Asia....
Put it down near the South Pole....
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