imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Abu Sayyaf: The CIA’s Monster Gone Berserk

by EDMUNDO SANTUARIO III Friday, Jun. 15, 2007 at 2:11 AM

The Philippines is under watch by America’s “anti-terrorism” network. This is so not only because of the presence of active Moro and Marxist guerrillas but also because of its special concern on the Abu Sayyaf. In the ‘80s, just as it was waging its last surrogate wars against the Soviet Union, the U.S. was also engaged in new forms of covert operations -- the training of Islamic militants to fight the Russians in Afghanistan and elsewhere. A product of this war – the Abu Sayyaf – was once hailed by American presidents as a group of “freedom fighters.” It was an exaltation that would haunt them for years.

To those who have been following the Abu Sayyaf’s exploits, the offer of military assistance by the United States government in tracking down the extremists in Mindanao (southern Philippines) has sent a chilling effect particularly among the patriotic sectors.

Related to this, similar concerns have been raised as to why despite government’s “total war” policy on the small group of bandits – whose hostage-taking spree is a purely police matter - not one of its active ringleaders has been caught. Previous suspicions that the Abu Sayyaf enjoys the protection of some top Armed Forces officials have surfaced again.

In a surprise operation last May 27, Abu Sayyaf gunmen kidnapped three Americans and 17 Filipinos from the world-class Dos Palmas resort just off Arracellis in Palawan. It was not immediately known where the new hostages were taken but the gunmen reportedly operate from the southernmost islands of Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi.

Abu Sayyaf spokesman Abu Sabaya on Saturday said they also took 10 fishermen hostage on their way to Basilan. The kidnapping was pulled off just barely two months after their last hostage – American Jeffrey Schilling – was freed after nine months of captivity.

In declaring a “no ransom, no negotiations” policy to the Abu Sayyaf, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered military assaults on the group’s suspected lairs and offered a P100 million (US million) reward on the ring leaders’ capture, dead or alive.

Meeting Arroyo in Malacañang on May 30, U.S. Rep. Robert Underwood offered military assistance to the Philippine government’s pursuit operations against the Abu Sayyaf. Underwood, who was accompanied in his visit by U.S. Charge D’Affaires Michael Malinowski, is a member of the powerful House Armed Services Committee and was in the country to explore how military relations between the two countries can be enhanced. Malinowski had earlier pledged continued American military support to the Arroyo administration.

On the same day, U.S. State Department spokesman Phil Reeker demanded the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages, particularly Americans Guillermo Sobrero and missionary couple Martin and Gracia Burnham. Among the 17 Filipino hostages is construction magnate Reghis Romero, said to be the front man of former Estrada crony Mark Jimenez in the purchase of The Manila Times. The latter, who has just been elected Manila congressman, is himself wanted by U.S. authorities.


Since the Dos Palmas abduction, at least 12 American warplanes had been seen hovering over Puerto Princesa City in Palawan. Then on March 31, two U.S. destroyers – the USS Curts and the USS Wadsworth -- and the landing ship USS Rushmore arrived in the country with 1,200 American troops. Philippine armed forces officials squelched speculations of U.S. intervention in the hostage crisis, claiming that the American troops’ presence was in connection with ongoing war games in Palawan and Cavite.

Efforts to downplay reports that U.S. military assistance has indeed come into play in the latest hostage crisis were of no effect, however, when Press Secretary Rigoberto Tiglao himself revealed that military contacts between the two governments are ongoing. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – whose agents have been in and out of the country in connection with “terrorist” cases – was also placed on alert. Former Philippine Ambassador to Washington Ernesto Maceda also revealed that in last year’s Sipadan hostage crisis where 20 tourists were held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf, the Americans backed military and police operations through the use of high-powered satellite surveillance equipment.

‘CIA monster’

U.S. military efforts to intervene in the Abu Sayyaf hostage crisis appears to be a turnaround from their reported links to the Mindanao extremists several years ago.  In May last year, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr. described the Abu Sayyaf (“Bearer [or Father] of the Sword” in Arabic) as a “CIA monster.”

Abu Sayyaf members, Pimentel said, were initially recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency as mujahideens to fight the U.S. proxy war in Afghanistan in the ‘80s. Before their deployment, they were trained by AFP officers in Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and other remote areas in Mindanao. But the arms and funds came from U.S. covert operations connected with the CIA, Pimentel said.

The mujahideens returned to Mindanao after the Afghan war to constitute the core of the Abu Sayyaf, the Senate president added.

In his revelations, Pimentel cited the book, Blowback by Chalmers Johnson. But it was American writer John K. Cooley in his book, Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, American and International Terrorism, who made “the most direct statement regarding the training and funding of the (Abu Sayyaf) by the CIA,” he said. Cooley was the Middle East correspondent for the reputable Christian Science Monitor and ABC News.

In his “Ghosts of the Past” report for ABC News in August last year, Cooley said the Abu Sayyaf, like many “international terrorists,” has its origins in the 1979-89 jihad or “holy war” to expel the Soviets from Afghanistan. Wanting to tie down the Soviets to their own little Vietnam war, the CIA recruited and trained thousands of Islamic militants to support the Afghan resistance against the Soviet invasion forces. The American quarterly Foreign Affairs reported that some 35,000 Muslim militants from 40 countries -- including the Philippines -- took part in the Afghan jihad. Related historical accounts said among the recruits was Osama bin Laden, now the U.S.’s No. 1 “terrorist enemy.”

‘Freedom Fighters’

“The CIA orchestrated massive arms shipments via Pakistan, including state-of-the-art Stinger surface-to-air missiles,” Cooley said. Three American presidents – Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George Bush -- hailed the mujahideens as “freedom fighters,” he said.

The Abu Sayyaf, Cooley said, was the last of the seven Afghan guerrilla groups to be organized late in the war – in 1986 or three years before the Soviets withdrew. It was founded by an Afghan professor named Abdul Rasul Abu Sayyaf. And like Osama bin Laden, the group was financed by Saudi Arabia’s wealthy elite and influenced by Wahabism, an ultra-conservative form of Islam that dates back to the mid-18th century and is espoused by the Saudi royal family.

“Some of the original veterans of the Afghan jihad, and their sons and grandsons and those trained by them, have been operating with destructive effect since the 1980s from Egypt and the Philippines to Algeria and New York,” Cooley wrote.

With the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, the CIA’s powerful Pakistani partner, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), lost control of the Afghan fighting groups. The Abu Sayyaf had established a training camp north of Peshawar, Pakistan, “to train terrorists in the methods taught by the CIA and ISI,” Cooley reported. Some 20,000 volunteers were trained in the “Peshawar university” to “look for other wars to fight” including in the Middle East, North Africa, New York and the Philippines.

The Abu Sayyaf moved its operations to the Philippines ostensibly to support the war for a separate Islamic state. Emerging from these operations were two leaders – the brothers Abdurajak Janjalani, who was an Afghan war veteran, and Khaddafi Janjalani.

Early Operations

In a privilege speech in July last year, Pimentel named former Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan and then Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Guillermo Ruiz as knowing about the group’s early operations in Mindanao. He also asked the Senate to summon former President Fidel V. Ramos and ex-Defense Secretary Renato de Villa to shed light on the matter.

Pimentel also cited revelations by a police asset, Edwin Angeles, who has since died mysteriously, that the military equipped the Abu Sayyaf with vehicles, mortars and assorted firearms for its raid of Ipil in April 1995. In the raid – the group’s first large-scale action – 70 people died while 50 teachers and schoolchildren were kidnapped.

Following its “split” with the MNLF in 1991, the Abu Sayyaf resorted to illegal logging, kidnapping, bombing, looting, burning, killing and other criminal activities for its logistics and operations. So far, they have kidnapped at least 32 foreigners, including five Americans, Europeans and Asians. This does not included hundreds of other Filipino hostages, a number of whom were Catholic and Protestant priests and nuns. Some of them, including priests, were killed.

The metamorphosis of the Abu Sayyaf from “freedom fighters” in Afghanistan to sheer bandits in the Philippines is a new dark spot in the U.S.’s covert dirty tricks operations throughout the world. The CIA has created not just one Frankenstein’s monster in the mold of the Abu Sayyaf but hundreds of others who are now wreaking havoc in other parts of the world – including right in the belly of the United States itself.

But in war and in modern “counter-terrorism warfare” – which the U.S. now is eager to wage in the Philippines – there is at least one advantage that can be drawn. The anti-Soviet Afghan “resistance movement” promoted the U.S. arms industry. The U.S. may as well be doing the same thing as it embarks on a new crusade to destroy one of the “monsters” it created.

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 4 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy