Saturday, April 29, 2006

May Plot? what plot? says Gringo aide

Being the fair and balanced correspondent I am; even on a blog-
A aide to former Sen. Gregorio Honasan denied today any plot or role of the group headed by the now fugitve ex-senator, ex-soldier, and in the words of his "aide" one more title "ex-coup plotter." the retired Col. Ernesto Macahiya told DZMM radio in a report carried by the fastest name in philippine news on the web

An aide of former senator Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan who was arrested Friday for allegedly taking part in destabilization efforts against President Arroyo denied his group was planning to sow terror during Labor Day rallies on Monday, DZMM reported Saturday.

Retired colonel Ernesto Macahiya said the Philippine Guardians Brotherhood Inc. (PGBI) will not join mass demonstrations in celebration of Labor Day. Macahiya is PGBI spokesman.

He also dismissed accusations that the Honasan-led PGBI is involved in efforts to overthrow the Arroyo administration.

Alert levels up... Plots thicken...

Police on high alert reports of dawn to dusk major protests and actions here in manila
PHILIPPINE security forces were placed on high alert today ahead of a planned May 1 Labour Day rally in Manila calling for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Police are worried afterall this is coming on the heels; of reports and a raid on safehouse that there have been attempts by JI-ASG teams to target the crowds h a team of bombers is at large and police are worried they may attempt to create chaos in the Philippine capital and target the crowds.

Also there is a alleged new plot called operation mangagawa which is a threat developing from police claim ;NPA rebels and right wing mutinous solders who attempted already two coups but have so far failed.

"We will go on full alert today for the May 1 celebrations," said Manila police chief Vidal Querol. "We will exert maximum tolerance against the protesters. I can assure you that violence will not come from the police ranks."Mr Querol said about 5000 anti-riot police officers would be deployed in the capital" The Australain reports on its website.

New counter-terrorism progress report out

New report released on counter-terrotism efforts of the USA; which lead to success in some areas inlcuding here in the Philippines according to the report just released.

• “In the Philippines, authorities have regained control of the island of Basilan and, increasingly, the island of Jolo, both areas of operation for Abu Sayaff and Jemiah Islamiya.”

I am kind of questioning the lead sentence of the press release- which seems to say the US has downsized terror groups in smaller, leaner, and meaner groups. Not the thing you mightr want to “high-lite” but it is a truthful statement.

link to the report is below as well.



U.S. Counterterrorism Coordinator Crumpton Announces New Report

Country Reports on Terrorism 2005 finds terror groups smaller, more sophisticated

By David I. McKeeby
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- Thanks to the successes of the U.S.-led multinational counterterrorism effort, terror organizations are now smaller and more sophisticated, and more challenging than ever to bring to justice, says Ambassador Henry Crumpton, coordinator of the State Department’s counterterrorism office.

An annual report developed jointly by the State Department and the National Counterterrorism Center, Country Reports on Terrorism 2005 is produced to provide Congress information on progress in the fight against al-Qaida and the 41 other identified terrorist groups active in the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia, Crumpton told journalists in an April 28 press briefing announcing the release.

Among the broader trends identified in the report, Crumpton said that terrorist groups are forming smaller, harder-to-detect cells; becoming more technologically sophisticated, particularly in their use of the Internet; and are building closer links with international criminal networks. He also said many terrorist groups continue to focus their efforts in Iraq to provoke sectarian violence and derail democracy, making continued international support of the Iraqi government essential.


Military force alone cannot defeat terrorism, Crumpton said. “We must fight the enemy with precise, calibrated force to buy space and time to transform the environment and the conditions which terrorists exploit.”

He said the report emphasizes the need for a multilevel strategy “utilizing all the instruments of statecraft” to counter violent extremism and disrupt terrorist networks globally; using regional partnerships to deny terrorists safe haven; and improving security by using development assistance programs to help countries build institutions that support the rule of law and address political and economic injustices.

“This is not just the right thing to do; it also enhances our partners' capacity to resist the terrorist threat and address conditions that terrorists exploit,” Crumpton said.

The report finds that al-Qaida’s core leadership no longer has effective global command and control of its networks, Crumpton said. Confined to an increasingly smaller territory along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, Crumpton says that al-Qaida’s senior leaders increasingly are frustrated by their lack of control and “desperate to claim Iraq as their own,” resorting to propaganda to demonstrate their continuing influence by inspiring terrorist attacks.

“Al-Qaida and its affiliates are attacking what they fear the most, the development of a global civic society -- a society characterized by global networks of liberal institutions, free speech, democratic organizations, free-market forces, and law,” Crumpton said.

Although international cooperation has succeeded in denying them safe haven in Iraq and elsewhere, the ambassador said, “We must maintain unrelenting pressure against al-Qaida -- we know they aim to attack the U.S. homeland and seek to match or surpass the terror of 9/11.”


Crumpton said that the report features regional overviews and reports on the terrorist situation in individual countries, marking not only the progress made but also the challenges remaining.

Among the examples of success he cited:

• In Colombia, local police forces have returned to all 1,098 municipalities throughout the country. They successfully have demobilized 23,000 paramilitary fighters, and are making progress in their fight against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC).

• In the Philippines, authorities have regained control of the island of Basilan and, increasingly, the island of Jolo, both areas of operation for Abu Sayaff and Jemiah Islamiya.

• In Indonesia, leaders launched a broad counterterrorism campaign that has gained momentum, featuring new legislation, successful prosecution of terrorist operatives and an emphasis on moderate religious theology to blunt radicalization.

• In Saudi Arabia, the government is taking steps to counter radicalization, opened a Financial Investigation Unit and has captured or killed the top 26 senior al-Qaida operatives inside their country.

The report also identifies several countries that the United States considers state sponsors of terrorism. Most significant among them is Iran, which Crumpton called, “the premier state sponsor of terrorism, provid[ing] a national safe haven for its own operatives and members of al-Qaida and Hezbollah.” (See related article.)

Iran’s ongoing vocal support of terrorist attacks against other countries, combined with its failure to disclose the true extent of its nuclear program to the international community also raise the continuing concern that it may facilitate future terrorist attacks utilizing weapons of mass destruction, Crumpton said.

The full text of the new report is available on the State Department Web site.

For more information, see Response to Terrorism.

Al qaeda at sea? are multiple maritime plots afoot?

In the Movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still," a alien ambassador seeking to get the world's attention stops time and makes the world - stand still.

Kerry Collison; avid author and mega-blogger may feel like the alien ambassador trying to warn people in the USA of a problem we in SE Asia know only too well, It is recurring fear for many in the region, a coordinated attack by Al Qaeda and it's allies in the region on the Straits of Malacca.

While ASEAN has put up joint patrols versus the repeated acts of piracy; amidst reports of hijacking of ships where-in nothing was taken and seemed more like training missions. Warnings have emerged over the last four years of a possible major terror attack on shipping in the area.

There are among the Navies of the region a worry expressed both by Military people and members of both the international shipping companies and leaders in the region.

A growing fear; rising over the years; about a possible attack on or near Asia’s choke point in the Malacca Straights.

A lot of people are expressing renewed concern Now at this time of extreme oil prices if a Attack on or near Straits of Malacca near Singapore could hold up traffic for a few days what it would do to the global economy. One analyst says a few days of tension could see a $120 a barrel "As not impossible."

" The same conditions that allow pirates to operate in Indonesian waters can also be conducive to militant groups such as al Qaeda or its Southeast Asian offshoot Jemaah Islamiah. Maritime attacks and attacks against oil infrastructure and transportation...." Stratfor report quoted by Collison

Collision’s post based a report of the STATFOR organization; But that threat of a attack here near us is in part based on one that occurred before while it was off Yemen and en-route to the entry to the Suez Canal.

" An attack similar to the one against the MV Limburg off of Yemen in October 2002 would bring an immediate international response --....The economic fallout, however, would have already begun " Collison quoting Stratfor

But going beyond the STRATFOR warnings; speaking to analysts they say one area of extreme concern is if “multiple choke points are hit link up several events,” imagine a much larger scenario; not just Malacca, And here is where talking to the people I have been discussing this with in the last few hours see something.

“But what if Hormitz, in the Gulf; or on Oil tankers in the Suez and Panama canals; then that were followed by attacks on oil pipelines and or refineries.” my sources say such actions taken over period of days;

World be enough to send oil prices soaring “They would skyrocket.”

At first I asked if “such a plot had been considered even a remote possibility?” the answer given to me; "There are several actual intelligence reports on individual attacks plots versus these targets." I was told by not just one security analyst - But the same quote repeated almost in the same words by another who cited intelligence information gleaned from detainees and captured documents.

I and my counterparts in the news media have done stories with topics like this; to try and get these concerns aired- on occasion we do a pretty good job Looking for these things and hopefully raise concern enough for us to see some action taken to prevent events like this from happening but we are not always successful. .

But reading and re-reading this possible path of action; the thought of something going on at multiple point’s worries me repeatedly I have been told;

Analysts say "it is not far-fetched."

"If one looks at past actions of Al Qaeda for example they have arranged for attacks to be carried out in different hemisphere’s or countries before, " one senior fellow of a major think tank told me when I asked him about the subject said; " I would not think it impossible."

Groups like Al Qaeda are able to commit multiple attacks across the globe; One need only look at the assassination of the leader of the northern alliance in Afghanistan around the time of the 9-11 attacks; Then embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the string of bombings across the globe that almost move across time zones like a clock.

I often wonder why the Madrid Attacks were never linked to the bombing of Superferry 14 and the attacks on other targets in an around the same timeframe.. I am suddenly worried about the new message of the leaders of Al Q. I wonder; and worry, if indeed as mentioned in the statements “Oil supply” is now the new target, weapon, and, threat next. plot to make a real life; World Standing still….. waiting in gas lines and trying to figure out how move about.

I hope I'm not the only one thinking this way. Something I am sure is being done to prevent this on a individual level at the various places; If not - we'll all be walking for couple of days and trying to recover from the chaos of a world standing still.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?