3rd of a series
Postcript to Understanding Faurat: When will Counter-Terrorist elements learn?
In the 1st part of this series, we noted that terrorists wage a world war under the guise of Islam. That the war they are waging is more secular, ideological than religious.
In the 2nd part of this series, we tried to expound at greater length how progressive movements in some parts of the world in the past and today are similar in many ways to that of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as well as to many other Islamic movements that we labeled as the “Jamaat” groups espousing not jihad or holy war but faurat which stands for revolution and is not a concept propounded by the Holy Qur’an.
We attempted to establish that the problem in many cases is that most of us at the receiving end of terrorist assaults are just patently and totally helpless in the present situation.
In both the 1st and 2nd parts of this series, we exhorted both leaders and thinkers in the defense and the militia to engage in revising, modernizing their doctrines of war. We enjoined making innovations or ramifications in the standards in the Rules of Engagement (ROE).
We strongly encouraged the rewriting of holier-than-thou treaties and pacts, covenants that not necessarily have placed in a bad light but totally forced the distorted adoption of new and more creative models of treating Prisoners of War, Human Rights, among others.
Being trapped within the confines of these outdated pacts covenants and treaties, while we are already in the modern age – fully exposed to myriad of influences that past generations only imagined about, is immoral and unjust.
It will only be right to a very few that benefit from the rigid prison walls of this kind of obsolete faiths and convictions.
Perspectives on the Ground
It is extremely difficult to portray the sample situation below without interchanging “perspective” with “perversity” which the below case will show.
Situationer. Recently, in the Philippines, a contingent of more or less one hundred paramilitary members of the police with special warfare (Spec War) training were nearly totally massacred by a group called Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Forces (BIFF) – a rogue terrorist band that has supposedly broken off with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The BIFF and MILF have interlocking leadership and membership. This is the case in all the organizations in Muslim Mindanao where most of the elements were either former boyhood friends, schoolmates in the sharia schools or actual blood relations.
Sample Case – MILF-BIFF. The MILF, since 2002-2003 has established a unique cooperative posture with the United States merely on the strength of one piece of paper – a simple letter that emanated from its late Chairman, Datu Salamat Hashim to POTUS.
Since that time, the United States has spent millions for the engaging of Philippine Government leaders in peace talks with the MILF that will lead to the opening of business opportunities for Western countries to engage in mining, heavy industries and many other enterprises in Muslim Mindanao with only the consent of MILF.
A term called Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) was coined for this purpose that grants quasi-autonomy to the MILF to rule over all of Muslim Mindanao. Behind them, will be big business and political backers from overseas.
Even Malaysia, that has for at least five decades taken upon itself to sit on real estate owned by the Philippines for centuries – the island of Sabah – has been visibly showing great support for MILF’s bid to rule Muslim Mindanao.
This effectively disempowers the Islamic Tausug Tribe that holds the franchise to Sabah as part of the Kingdom of North Borneo but that does not see eye to eye with the MILF that is dominantly made up of the Maguindanao Tribe and partly by the Maranao Tribe – both adherents of Islam.
Why the majority of more or less one hundred Special Action Force elements were killed in Muslim Mindanao, in a town called Mamasapano, Maguindanao Province, Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao is still a big question mark.
Why the Philippine Government was also creating massive hype in its highly budgeted propaganda war – demolition operations against the political opposition about the impending arrest of the son of the Philippines’ Vice President at the same time that war was raging in Mindanao is another puzzle.
Somewhere in between, informed analysts say, there is a crazy, dirty link between the two.
We discuss below an almost similar case in microcosm about how counter terrorist operations will either succeed or fail, depending upon the conditions in the environment.
When counter terrorist operations are undertaken vis-a-vis the whimsical and singularly insane dictates of higher ups in the context of the broader environment, counter terrorist actions generally fail. They will keep on failing and place at great risk the lives not only of soldiers or law enforcers, they most of all endanger the dominantly unarmed, helpless civilian population.
Our specific sample here is the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) hostage crisis in Sulu Province, Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. The entire crisis lasted nearly eight whole months as can be culled from this timeline.
A brief background obtained from sources within the Philippine Government is shown below with annotations belatedly provided by the same source:
On or about December 2008 – January 2009, a little known incident occurred within the Area of Responsibility of Maritime Mobile Police 9 (9MMP) in Sulu Province. A young Chinese was allegedly kidnapped and brought by ASG from one place to another in the hinterlands of Sulu.
On or about 15 January, 2009, a band of alleged members of a criminal gang / syndicate with the backing of high profile personalities with blood relations to the Juma’a Abu Sayyap (JAS) or otherwise known as Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), on board motorcycles, armed with assorted high powered firearms, by the use of force, violence and intimidation, staged the kidnapping and illegal detention of three (3) workers of the International Committee on the Red Cross (ICRC) in front of Sulu Museum, Provincial Capitol Cpd., Patikul, Sulu.
One of kidnappers was a uniformed element of the Provincial Jail of Sulu. He was alleged to be assisted by someone riding a motor bike who was suspected to be a Captain or Major of the Philippine Marines and several cohorts of the officer and the jail staff.
The victims — ICRC Zamboanga head Andreas NOTTER, 38-year-old Swiss national; Water Habitat delegate Eugenio VAGNI, 62, Italian; and ICRC engineer Mary Jean LACABA, a Filipina were allegedly brought to Indanan, Sulu and from time to time moved from there to mountain strongholds encompassing selected barangays of the towns of Parang, Talipao and Maimbung, etc.
On interrogation, the driver of a public utility jeepney that was held at gunpoint by the supposed kidnappers, under extreme duress was made to transport the kidnappers to a location that was known all over Sulu Province as the Soy Sauce Factory of Vice Governor Nur Ana “Lady Ann” Sahidulla – whose husband at the time was the mayor of an island town in Sulu and was heavily engaged in smuggling activities.
Sahidulla was popular in the entire province as an arch enemy of the then Governor of Sulu – Abdusakur Tan.
ICRC workers kidnapped and held by civilians and passed on to suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorists.
The incident involving workers of ICRC was followed in Jan 23, 2009 by the abduction of three helpless elementary school teachers working in Sakol Island, just off Zamboanga City. The teachers were purportedly brought to Basilan Province.
School teachers kidnapped by suspected ASG bandits.
The heavily armed civilian kidnappers were later joined by elements of the Juma’a Abu Sayyap and the hostages were detained and held by their captors for a period of no less than Three and One Half (3½) Months on Apr 02, 2009 when one (1) victim, Engr. LACABA, was released due to intense security operations by government in the AOR.
In Four (4) Months and Three (3) Days captivity of the remaining ICRC hostages, on Apr 18, 2009, another victim was rescued by Philippine National Police (PNP) and Civilian Emergency Forces (CEF) in the area. He identified himself as Andreas Notter and a native of Switzerland, a former member of the Swiss Special Forces before becoming an ICRC worker. This victim did not need to be released nor rescued. He told the police officers and civilian fighters that recovered him that he escaped from the lair of the terrorists, bringing with him a wooden rod that helped him navigate the forests since he had a serious limp resulting from an injury sustained during captivity.
Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), Mr. Richard Gordon and a retinue of PNRC officials as well as ICRC key people attended the return of Mr. Notter in Jolo, Sulu.
Resulting from the investigation, elicitation and interrogation of witnesses, the Link Analysis done by the PNP Task Force were revelations that aside from the Sulu Vice Governor, who was also the Provincial head of the PNRC in Sulu, several other key participants in the terrorist act were interminably part of the dastardly operation:
1. First, the ICRC were asked to avail of security personnel. They refused the offer of security.
2. When the ICRC were kidnapped, they just allegedly finished calling on the Sulu Province Red Cross head, the Vice Governor of Sulu at the Provincial Capitol.
3. The kidnappers were in five motorcycles. They kidnapped the ICRC people inside the Provincial Capitol compound. Three were identified with at least one former provincial jail guard, and his two relatives. Two other motorbikes were identified with the Philippine Marines.
4. The head spokesman Al Bader Parad (alluded to only as a “Sub-Leader” or minor commander) of the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers that received the hostages from the town of Indanan where they were hidden by the Vice Governor was the son of a lady Sulu native who was the paramour of the local Philippine Marines head of intelligence.
In the Link Analysis, it was further revealed that Al Bader Parad is a blood relative of Vice Governor Nur Ana “Lady Ann” Sahidulla.
5. When the Vice Governor was asked for a small report-briefing by the Governor of Sulu, she suddenly developed so-called severe stomach pains and purported that she could not come to make a report because she was being treated in a clinic in Jolo.
6. While the Governor waited on the Vice Governor to finish her treatment-consultation at the clinic, the lady boarded a chartered flight to Zamboanga City on the guise again of stomach pains.
7. After a brief period, the Vice Governor of Sulu was suddenly sighted by ICRC Task Force sources in Manila and talking to officials of the ICRC, PNRC (Richard Gordon) and officials of the Department of Interior and the Philippine National Police – telling all of them about the severe need to pay ransom money as the kidnappers were threatening to kill the hostages.
8. The Secretaries of Interior and Defense went to Zamboanga for a conference with the troops. The Governor of Sulu suggested to use community participation.
When about two thousand former and active Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) armed civilians appeared from the woodwork, the Marines disengaged themselves from the Task Force for some time – leaving the pursuit operations to the PNP.
9. During one of the counter terrorist operations, on May 7, 2009 the regular police forces that were beefed up by members of Special Action Forces (SAF) suffered a blow when they encountered a large group of Abu Sayyaf fighters shooting at them alongside members of militant MNLF army fighters.
The Provincial Police Office Chief, Police Senior Superintendent Julasirim Kasim was killed along with his security detail. On the other hand, however a large number of Abu Sayyaf were also killed during that encounter.
10. The Abu Sayyaf had the advantage of firing the first volley. This was due to the fact that the Special Action Forces Satellite Radio units were not working. The regular police radios were totally useless. Despite the repeated pleas of the Provincial Police Office and the ICRC Task Force to supply working communication units, higher headquarters appeared to be not predisposed to address the request. As a result, the police raiding team were shouting to each other and the Abu Sayyaf knew exactly when and where to hit them.
11. Abu Sayyaf terrorists were abundantly supplied with ammunition for their M203 Grenade Launcher equipped M16 Rifles. The police pursuers had limited ammunition for their launchers and very few of the launchers themselves.
12. The Abu Sayyaf were being constricted by the constantly redeploying, moving government forces and civilian actors in the hostage rescue campaign by the police but the funds were slow in coming.
13. Ms. Ces Drilon of the media, placed the hostages in the limelight together with a dubious taped interview with Al Bader Parad. This was perceived by the Task Force as a ploy to make the concerned parties pay the ransom money for the release of the hostages.
14. In the same interview with Ms. Ces Drilon, the Abu Sayyaf subleader Al Bader Parad also kept saying in fearful sentences that the military should withdraw – implying that something bad will happen to the hostages.
15. With Ms. Drilon anchoring for them, the ICRC hostages kept mumbling over national television that they are in terrible danger.
16. Sen. Richard GORDON, PNRC national chairman was contacted by purported ASG Commander Nash LIPAE and together with ASG Commander Albader PARAD and the local area Commander Umbra JUMDAIL are in communication with the Vice Governor of Sulu, Nur Ana SAHIDULLA as well as Miss Cecilia Oreña DRILON of ABS-CBN.
Lady Ann Sahidulla
Al Bader Parad – a nephew of Vice Governor Lady Ann Sahidulla
Page 1 and page 2 of the supposed Demand Letter of Abu Sayyaf Group signed by @Jumdail P Abu, Radullan Sahiron, Yasser Igasan, Isnilon Hapilon, Albader Parad, Julhasbi Jalmani, Hajan Sawadjan
16. Elements of civilian volunteer organizations called CEFs and PNP were later tasked to locate VAGNI and bring him to a safe place. VAGNI was released upon payment of a huge ransom.
Surviving members of the group of perpetrators continue to engage in other forms of banditry and terrorist acts, harassment against the PNP and other friendly forces. On one occasion the rebels figured in a suspected mortar attack that hit one village in Jolo resulting in several casualties and severely damaged property. Where the mortar came from was never found out during the investigations.
The continued fighting forced some elements of ASG to undertake escape and evasion measures and possible reprisal / retaliatory acts vs. the government. One of these bandit/terrorist elements, was negated and neutralized before being able to undertake bombing in Jolo, Sulu due to the efforts of an action agent. Subject arrested ASG member, is confirmed to be a bona fide member of the terrorist group.
Due to the information taken from various sources and the interrogation of the arrested terrorist, the location of the remaining hostage VAGNI and his kidnappers was known along with other details of his captivity.
In the immediate past period, a series of encounters with the enemy forces had resulted in substantial number of killed bandits.
Due to the saturation operations conducted from March 2009 to the present, coupled with the offensives of Philippine Marines, Philippine National Police, Civilian Emergency Forces and other troops vs. the criminal and terror syndicate and several elements of the MNLF breakaway faction with their secret high profile personality backers, as well as their blood relations and allies among the members of the government service including the PNP — enemy forces supposedly have threatened to:
(1.) engage in bombings; (2.) assault the capital town of Jolo, Sulu and possibly even other areas not excluding Metro Manila to conduct anti-government and anti-people operations therein. Furthermore, intel states that terrorist elements allegedly joined hands with criminal underworld elements in order to raise substantial funds as well as with at least two (2) foreigners from Indonesia — DULMATIN and Umar PATEK.
During interrogation, the arrested member of the subject terror group revealed that he and his fellow terrorists are aggressively conducting recruitment of new members, are engaged in drug trafficking, robbery / hold-up, extortion and gun running operations in Sulu and other parts of the country but not so much in Metro Manila.
It was also disclosed that terrorist acts will be used by politicians in a plot to raise chaos in the country starting in Mindanao. There is a very high possibility that both the criminal elements and their ASG counterparts will actually stage violent acts in the AOR and even up to Metro Manila and should therefore be negated and neutralized before they are ever able to commit heinous crimes both in the AOR and in other areas.
Over the entire period of more than eight months, to include mop up operations, the PNP and its special action arm, as well as during the end phase with the assistance of the Philippine Marines and on many occasions along the way with the communications net, technical, advisory and other assistance from the trainors of the Joint US Task Force in Sulu, negated and neutralized more than 300 Abu Sayyaf terrorists.
The PNP side of the Task Force to its credit, was able to overran and dismantle no less than ten (10) Abu Sayyaf camps including one that was located right beside the cluster of communication towers (cell sites) of Philippine telecom companies.
The casualty figure on the part of the Abu Sayyaf during the ICRC Task Force Operations was a record high in the annals of the war vs. terror by the government and the revolutionary war (faurat) waged by Juma’a Abu Sayyap against established authority in the Philippines. The PNP admits they owe it largely to community participation wherein no less than 2,000 volunteers took up arms to fight side by side government troops to end the hostage crisis in Sulu. However, too many problems beset the Task Force and yet too much money exchanged hands during the pay offs for the release of the last hostage – Eugenio Vagni.
Allegedly, no less than US$3,000,000 was paid to the Abu Sayyaf. In contrast, with the budget at the time of not less than 50 Billion Philippine Pesos for the Philippine National Police and nearly 100 Billion Philippine Pesos in the 2015 allocation for the national police, the equipment and supplies for the law enforcers are not being provided. If one goes to the field and see the policemen in action, one will be aghast over the lack of support by higher headquarters and national government.
Where is all that money in billions going to? Some say to make presidents, senators, congressmen, governors, mayors and allow these crooked politicians to line up their pockets notwithstanding that they will also undertake acts of terror and put the blame on Abu Sayyaf then make money out of the attacks as well.
It is clear from the above sample, that the kidnapping was not done by the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group members themselves, but by select notorious enterprising people. On the other hand, select notorious enterprising people are backed by corrupt government people.
On a different milieu, police characters from the same tribe of Muslims that massacred the elements of the Special Action Forces are engaged in smash-and-grab robbery in band high crimes in the national capital region as well as in other areas in the Philippines. Past captured terrorists confess to this kind of side line jobs of their members.
One of the frequently victimized establishments is the SM department store. For a succession of several years up to 2014 – the latest being the SM Mall of Asia, this establishment has consistently been robbed and appeared to be unable to fend off the dominantly Muslim band that media calls MARTILYO GANG. 
Dominantly Muslim MARTILYO GANG robbery syndicate
This sample hostage taking incident took place in 2009, exactly 5 years ago today. Its method has since been replicated so many times in so many places around the world.
On its own, it had, to say the very least, highly peculiar characteristics but not totally dissimilar to the tactics and methods used by the Al Qaeda and the ISIL themselves. When the entire link analysis was projected into the wall and the hard truth sank in, you felt so much sickened beyond nausea – literally like having the sensation you’re about to blow your whole brain out.
More than 90% of all similar kidnapping cases purporting to be political or in the case of Abu Sayyaf, pretending to be in the name of religion, cause and cash, are the mere handiwork of criminals that ascended to positions of power – whether in the political, economic or other some other field.
A revised methodology for treating cases like these need to be put in place that can put not just useless but real pressure upon those in high places who do not place value on human life and property. Those that are in power might just perpetually think they can get away with everything. But we do not want that to happen. Their next victim might be you and me.
As to the recent senseless killing of nearly 100 Special Action Forces of the Philippine National Police in Mindanao, how valuable is the result or outcome of that carnage that it was all right to massacre three to four times as many lives (17 dead) as those that were taken by ISIL in Paris, France? And at least the ISIL even had a flimsy excuse: supposed desecration of the image of Mohammad by Charlie Hebdo that sparked a marked global outrage. In the case of the special forces personnel, they were accused of mere trespassing and not knocking on the door.
The question to ask therefore is: After the recent wave of awareness worldwide of the threat of terrorists following the succession of attacks of pro-ISIL and pro-Boko Haram against their perceived targets why was the recent Maguindanao Massacre of Special Action Force members still allowed to take place?
Why is this carnage happening at the same time that there is renewed media hype for the so-called Campaign for Honesty, Accountability in the Philippine Government and on that specific day, the son of the Philippine Vice President was threatened of being arrested?
From the illustrated sample case above, in more ways than one there will be resistance to the promulgation of new, more appropriate Doctrine of War in the fight against terrorism. If the resistance prevails and change is blocked, does it mean that our soldiers and policemen will continue to suffer being victims of bad fundamental doctrine and pre-designed decisions that do not concern themselves with whoever or whatever will become damaged goods or in the worst case – killed?
That is the trillion dollar question that the people on this planet must have to contend with.
The reason why therefore the current terrorist groups have to be secular, unrelated to and distinct from religion or the religious, is the fact that the leaders of these movement type terrorist organizations are merely out to achieve a semblance of government, isolation from the rest of the world while making anyone that crosses their path along the way, suffer up to the highest extent unless they gain trust and are invited to join the supposed Islamic State or as it were, their mythical Caliphate.
It can be safely said that the ISIL aggressively needs to insulate themselves from the perceived economic injustice in the world we live in and so many other ills caused by extremes in inequity and disempowerment of the majority.
The big question however is that, by taking on a posture of isolationism, are they being genuine? Isn’t the ISIL not just being dictated upon by another greater power?
The fundamental lesson from the ICRC hostage crisis is that while the Abu Sayyaf, a supposedly Islam-espousing group of extremely violent firebrands out to create an Islamic State in Mindanao, is being touted as the perpetrator of terrorist acts, in reality there are puppet masters behind the group that are the real terrorists.
And the cycle of evil goes on and on, all around the world with huge amounts of money making the world go round for the opulent and greedy and punishment awaits those that are at the bottom rung in the economic pecking order.
While there will never be a winnable argument in favor of the return to the rule by warrior kings, at least modernized and more sensible Doctrines for Law Enforcement, Doctrines of Warfare especially vs. Terrorist groups will be a good counterpoint to the present prevailing governments and societies characterized by kleptocracy and inutility.
Apparently, the greatest understatement in history is that there is a really dire need for a leveler of the presently skewed playing field. But that means that each one of us has to give our share however meager. Perhaps with more of us contributing, slowly some changes will soon become more apparent.
Civilians victimized by supposed reprisals of terrorists in the successful police operations vs. Juma’a Abu Sayyaf and kidnap and ransom crime syndicate in Mindanao.
 There is no definitive indication that the Abu Sayyaf had released the young chinese hostage. When ICRC kidnap victims Mary Jean Lacaba, Eugenio Vagni and Andreas Notter were brought to the Soy Sauce Factory of the Vice Governor of Sulu and head of Philippine National Red Cross of Sulu, they saw the poor young chinese in the Soy Sauce Factory.compound.
 Spokesman and Sub Leader, Al Bader Parad, reportedly now deceased, was also the main jailer of media person Ms. Ces Orena Drilon who was supposedly kidnapped and held hostage by the Juma’a Abu Sayyap (also known in the media as Abu Sayyaf Group). Ms. Drilon’s family and her company ABS CBN allegedly paid out Philippine Pesos 20,000,000. to the terrorists for her supposed release. As the nephew of Vice Governor Sahidulla, and her husband a big time smuggler, Parad is somewhat something of a Prince in the Underworld in that part of the world.
 On its own, this establishment has nothing to complain about since it is now publicly owned. Further, that among many circles, it is touted to be a beneficiary of the enormous largesse of a former Philippine President and makes profits from intellectual property rights of others without rendering any payment due to the owners. Moreover, it is dimly looked at by environment and pro-poor advocates since it is quick to impart violent methods during demolition in real estates where it must erect its malls and markets or chop down and kill hundred year old trees for construction of stores and of all things, parking spaces.
 The members of the dreaded MARTILYO GANG are dominantly from the Maguindanao Islamic Tribe whose tribe members comprise the BIFF and the MILF.