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2001-2004 : Denial & Devastation - Part 2
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Why We Should Expect Another 9/11
Article #17 –
In the previous article, we reviewed Al-Qaeda’s post 9/11 activities west of the Russia/Turkey/Saudi Arabia line of demarcation. We did not address the devastation east of this line nor the denial in D.C.
For those of you who have tuned in lately, I will quickly recap how I got here. After 5+ years in counterintelligence in the Soviet Union, primarily with the Red Army, I shifted over to counterterrorism in Southeast Asia, after running into a Muslim Prince in Singapore. I majored in the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and minored in Jema’ah Islamiyah (JL), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Laskar Jihad (LJ).
This began in November, 1993, when an American, Charles Walton, was kidnapped by the ASG. The Bureau asked me (actually the Prince Datu and I) to look into it. After learning how to spell it, we did. As it turned out, the Prince Datu was distantly related to the Janjalani Family who ran the operation.
The ASG was founded under a different name by Iranian missionaries. After receiving training from the ISI (Pakistani Intelligence) and funding from the CIA during the Soviet-Afghan War, Abubakr Janjalani returned home to Basilan, Philippines to wage war against the Christian Manila Moghuls, who were trying to swamp Mindanao with Catholics. Prior to World War II, Mindanao was over 75% Muslim.
In December, 1994, the Prince came up with a plan. With American financial assistance, he would ‘dismantle’ the ASG. It was an issue of economics. The average new ASG recruit received Filipino Pesos 5,000 which equaled approximately US$200. His idea was to set them up with a few acres of cheap land and a new trade. With no financial incentive, the ASG would diminish and possibly disappear.
Uncle Sam declined; in fact, they didn’t even bother to respond to the offer for a year and a half, despite the fact that American citizens were being kidnapped by the ASG.
The years 2000 and 2001 were red banner years for the ASG. On 20 March 2000, the ASG kidnapped 53 people from 2 schools on Basilan. Negotiations ran back and forth. On 19 April two male teachers were beheaded as a ‘birthday gift’ for President Estrada. On 23 April, the ASG kidnapped 21 people, mostly foreigners, from Sipadan, Malaysia. Between the two kidnappings, the absurdities ran back and forth between the ASG and the government of Eric Estrada. It appeared more like a couple of episodes of the Keystone Kops.
On 26 May 2001, the ASG kidnapped 2o people from Dos Palmas resort on Palawan, Philippines. Three days later the American government finally began to get the picture and offered US$5,000,000 reward for the capture of all 5 selected ASG leaders, at US$1,000,000 per head. The following day, Uncle Sam offered assistance to the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) in planning and coordinating rescue operations. Two of the captives were American citizens, Martin and Gracia Burnham. On 7 June 2002, over one year later, the rescue mission was enacted. Martin Burnham was killed, Gracia Burnham was shot in the right leg and Ediborah Yap, a Filipina nurse, was also killed. Questions still remain as to which bullets killed whom. When running a rescue of three people, two of which turn up dead and the other wounded, you gotta wonder what happened.
No offense, but if I ever get captured by the ASG, please do not send in the AFP (with or without American assistance) to carry out my rescue. My life insurance policy can’t handle it.
As a consequence of this debacle, the American and Filipino governments established Operation “Balikatan.” 1000+ American troops running annual military exercises with their Filipino comrades. Care to guess what the cost of these outings were? Had Uncle Sam accepted the Prince Datu’s dismantlement offer in 1994, it probably would have cost roughly US$200 X 500 recruits. Anyway I slice it, it comes out to a helluva lot less than several thousands of dollars per soldier + equipment, travel, etc. X 1,000 soldiers X several years. Go figure.
During this same period, Jema’ah Islamiyah bombed Bali, leaving 202 dead, most of them Australians. ASG and JI attacked and or bombed anything and everything that they could. They were on a rampage.
By early 2004, the scoreboard read as follows:
ASG 74 kidnapped – 102 dead - 180 missing
Add to this the 615 killed by the Moro National Liberation Front (MILF) and you are now circling 1200 dead and 180 missing and presumed dead – almost half the number of victims who died in 9/11. Anyway I add it up, that number is significantly serious.
Back in D.C., on 14 November 2002, the White House authorized an independent commission to investigate 9/11. Every prominent politician and their Great Aunt Tilly participated. Fortunately, there was more than enough blame to go around. Most every D.C. entity, with the possible exception of the Bureau of Labor and Statistics and OSHA got tagged. Handing out the blame was fairly easy. No one on the Commission bothered to try and fix what was broke.
By unconscious consensus, the collective American intelligence community ducked their heads and dodged the incoming flak. After all, this could upset their promotions and pensions.
Not surprising, nothing of substance came out of D.C. With few exceptions, no one was fired or replaced, though on 6 August 2002, James Ziglar, INS Chief, announced that he was stepping down over the issuance of visas to several of the dead 9/11 hijackers.
Cutting to the chase, 9/11 happened. Approximately 3,000 people died. America had changed; unfortunately, D.C. hadn’t. It was business as usual.
Thanks for your comments, please keep them coming –
Please visit my new blog, www.terrorlog.com
P.S. For those of you who want more than a snappy synopsis of the whys and wherefores of 9/11, I refer you to www.intelwire.com. It is managed by a good friend, John Berger. He is a certified terrorist consultant, who documents his colons and commas. If it's there, you can take it to the bank.
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