The foreign terrorists in the southern Philippines seem to freely come and go in the country without being noticed. The reason behind this has finally been revealed.
According to a senior military officer, several foreign terrorists are using the backdoor approach in penetrating the unchecked areas in Mindanao. This gives them the advantage to operate in the region without being monitored and plan their terror acts deliberately.
Armed Forces Deputy Chief for Operations Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta said that there were reports claiming that Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) militants are increasing in number in southern Mindanao but are virtually undetermined how many of them have already entered the country.
He added this has been observed even with the installation of the project Coast Watch South (CWS). CWS has been widely used as a radar-based monitoring system created by the Philippines, Australia and the US in an endeavor to track down the entry of JI militants and other international terrorists in Mindanao.
The deputy chief cited CWS has shown reliability in identifying movements of terrorists in the southern backdoor, but the group’s focus is only on major ticket items like monitoring JI terrorists’ presence in the region.
In an earlier report, several Indonesian and Malaysian terrorists are now collaborating with the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu according to Singaporean security personnel.
The Armed Forces intelligence team said they were able to identify four of the Malaysian and Indonesian terrorists.
Armed Forces Intelligence Chief Maj. Gen. Francisco Cruz said many of the JI operatives are hiding in Sulu, like Zulkifli Bin Hir popularly known as Marwan.
Marwan is a JI bomb and demolition expert who was reportedly sent by the JI to Mindanao in the 1990s to train and lead all JI recruits in Central Mindanao.
Although Marwan was able to build JI training networks in Camp Abubakar, the hideout was dismantled by the AFP in 2000.
Marwan is believed to be very active up to this day leading the operations in Basilan and Sulu. Intelligence reports claimed he was found with Abu Sayyaf members in Western Mindanao.