Thursday, March 31, 2005

Yet Another Terror Arrest in the Filipines.

A Palestinian man was arrested in the Filipines. He stands accused of training Abu Sayyaf in the terrible art of terror and of getting ready to carry out a terror attack.

First off one thing needs to be understood about the Filipines. Probably the Filipines biggest source of income is ex-patriate labor aka overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), or overseas contract workers (OCWs) and Arabia is a large employer of Filipino nurses, maids, engineers, laborers, and workers. Many of these Filipinos marry or otherwise associate with the local population and in fact driving around Manila it is not uncommon to see jeepneys decorated with Arabesque themes and artwork. So the presence of Arabs in the Filipines should not necessarily be viewed with suspicion.

Perusing some Filipino news sites turns up this story Suspected Palestinian terror trainer arrested in Zambo (1:30 p.m.). Apparently the man showed up at the Zamboanga City airport without a visa. He was then arrested and

He was later allegedly identified by captured Abu Sayyaf guerrillas as one of the foreign militants who trained them in bomb-making near Patikul town of Jolo island a few years ago, a security official said on condition of anonymity.

I do not buy the official story here. They knew this guy was coming and were waiting for him. This man was not thinking the immigration official he was going to deal with cared about visas or would have forgotten about it for the right price. He thought their guy would be at immigration and would let him through.

The Filipino authorities recently arrested a man coming over from Malaysia with Jemmah Islamiya ties and I bet their interrogation of this man and others revealed the Palestinian coming and for what reasons.

Good job!

One more WOT-Filipines note of worth. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports:
THE NATIONAL Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has been tasked by the Department of Justice to monitor returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) reportedly "contaminated" by the terrorist mentality.

NBI Director Reynaldo Wycoco said they would coordinate with the Bureau of Immigration in overseeing Philippine ports of entry to look out for possible terrorists.

In the directive issued Wednesday, BI and NBI officials were ordered to monitor the entry of OFWs coming from the Middle East especially from Saudi Arabia.

This is a wise precaution. I knew of some Filipinos in the UAE who had converted to Islam. For some it was essentially convert or lose your job, for others it was pressure from those around, for a couple it was for genuine reasons, and for one guy it was because he was fooling around and he had to convert to get around the one wife rule of Christianity problem. None of the converts I knew (one who was a student at the UAEU I believe was a Muslim his entire life) seemed to be at all dangerous or radical, as I said most had converted for petty/superficial reasons.

From my recollection it is possible to recieve a visa at the immigration control for a limited stay. But this doesn't change anything, they Filipino Authorities knew this guy was coming and were waiting for him. A high-five goes to the Filipino Authorities in this case!