Friday, February 20, 2009

Phillipine Troops arrest Two Foreign Terrorists

Philippine troops have caught and arrested two widely wanted local militants accused of helping top Al-Qaida-linked foreign terrorists.

Authorities say Omar Venancio helped a member of the militant group Jemaah Islamiyah buy explosives intended for a suicide bombing at a Roman Catholic cathedral in southern Davao city and other attacks in nearby beach resorts.

Mokasid Dilna, who allegedly headed the Al-Khobar group, is accused for bombing passenger buses and business establishments since 2007 for rejecting his extortion demands.

These arrests are momentous because they could dissolve some of the critical relations between foreign terrorists and at least two local Muslim groups. The violent Abu Sayyaf and the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front, could have possibly been a sanctuary and training ground.

Venancio, a Moro Islamic Liberation Front member, was arrested last month in southern Cotabato City carrying receipts for the explosives. During interrogation the plans for a suicide bombing in Davao and other attacks were discussed all unfulfilled.

Venancio is noted as being Jemaah Islamiyah militants' "most trusted local" since 2005 in Mindanao, the southern region where a Muslim separatist rebellion has raged for decades

Venancio allegedly helped move funds for top Jemaah Islamiyah figure Umar Patek and also acquire guns and explosives for the Indonesian group hiding with Abu Sayyaf on Jolo Island.

WANTED ARE: Patek, an Indonesian, Dulmatin another Indonesian, for the brutal 2002 nightclub bombings in Bali, Indonesia, that killed 202 people in Southeast Asia's worst terrorist attack.

Patek and Dulmatin supposedly fled to Mindanao in 2003, where they reportedly provided bomb-making and religious training to Abu Sayyaf, whom is listed on a U.S. terrorist blacklist for its links to Al-Qaida involvement, i.e., several bombings, kidnappings for ransom and beheadings.

Dilna, alias, Badrin, was trained in explosives and unspecified types of weapons in AfghanistanPakistan at about the same time as Patek in the early 1990s. and


http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSMAN42238

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