American flavor in Philippines’ struggle with terrorists

Despite the help from the USA, the government of the Philippines can not cope with Abu Sayyaf terrorist group. It does not look like the Muslim terrorists that operate in the south of the Philippines are going to give up the struggle. It is vice versa actually.

The feebleness of the Philippine government makes it use the methods of the withstanding terrorist group. There were several close relatives of Abu Sayyaf’s terrorists arrested a couple of days ago. As Maluso town mayor Sakib Salajin said, the arrests of the rebels’ wives were carried out in order to arrange a transaction with the militants, who keep their own hostages. “If we do not do this, they will get bolder,” – said he.

What is that group like, which makes the government of the Philippines take such measures? The US State Department informed that Abu Sayyaf group separated from the Islamic liberation front Moro (Moro is one of the islands in the south of the Philippines). The founder of Abu Sayyaf's ideology died on December 18 of 1998 in the armed clash with the Philippine police. That man was very popular, and a small group turned to a big and well-armed organization. Some of its members were trained in the camps of the Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan, which brought up the suspicion of their connection with al-Qaida. The Philippine terrorists pose rather a serious threat to the central authorities of the country.

As a matter of fact, seizing the rebels’ wives will only make more people join Abu Sayyaf; the terrorists themselves will go mad too. The tension between the governmental troops and the militants is very high. So does the government have to make the terrorist group grow?

One may come to another conclusion from this story with the hostages. After the American special forces came to the south of the Philippines, the struggle with the terrorists started gathering pace. So the presence of the American troops does not at all mean that the conflict will be settled. The White House and the Pentagon do not seem to be willing to dispatch their soldiers to fight against Abu Sayyaf. The training of the Philippine army leaves much to be desired at the end of the day, although it was originally planned that the American instructors would train the Philippine soldiers for the struggle with terrorists. So why are the American troops in the Philippines?

Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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