Monday, January 28, 2013

John Walsh 101--Agitprop for an Antihero.

It is always a good day when you meet up with a hero. No--certainly not John Walsh, but rather the man who reviewed Walsh's book, Tears of Rage in New York Book Time in 2008, S. Michael Wilson. Wilson's review is note-perfect, and while I haven't read Walsh's masturbatory masterpiece yet, I do plan on buying a used hardcover at Amazon for a penny--it being of that category which the market prices as such, plus a fair $3.95 charge for postage and handling

Wilson writes: "Again, I’m not painting Walsh as a demon," but I certainly am! He's the kind of demon who'd serve his cut-up six-year-old in a lasagna, and then complain about too much garlic, or finding a toenail in the sauce.

ABC's Nightline on Dec 16, 2008, Adam Walsh Case Closed, shows video from the Walshes' press conference "announcing" the solving of the couple's 27-year-old ordeal---or as the Associated Press put it, the "solving." A newly installed Hollywood, Florida chief of police, Chad Wagner, had utilized his first year on the job in a review of the case file and it suddenly occurred to everyone at once that this murder-slash-decapitation (with one news source stating the six-year-old boy had been raped, but hard to prove without holding the O-ring evidence) had, in fact, been solved. Given a shared wavelength, Wagner and Walsh must have been credentialed at the same coven of macho Warlocks, although Chad's first name is short for Chadwick, and not Chappaquiddick as I first thought.

Twenty-seven years TO THE DAY after his beloved son was lost to him forever in a senseless act of non-profit homosexual homicide, a weepy and histrionic John Walsh evoked Le Duse when he said:
For twenty-seven years we've been asking, 'who could take a six-year-old boy and murder and decapitate him? Who?' We needed to know. We needed to know. And, ah, today we know.
Ah! Well if you asked the right wiki.question, like: How much does John Walsh make in a year? You'd get an arguably accurate wiki.answer: John Walsh made $135 million from Fox in 2008, and since common profit motive speaks rather nicely to such a proposition, I must beg to infer: would his animal magnetism promise such plunder be it either television celebrity, or mid-level hotel-motel management?

Ottis Toole was Adam Walsh's killer.

The AP article, Walsh murder finally "solved", describes the toothless, brain-damaged culprit who was tagged with the crime as being "a self-described transvestite," although, I must say--having been in that life for years, it's something usually sprung on you, rather then giving anyone a chance to steel themselves by "advanced notice." Apparently, since according to the AP, Ottis Toole "also claimed to be a cannibal," that too may only be braggadocio, with our drumsticks and breast meat remaining safe and moist.

Ottis Toole died in prison more than a decade ago.
Ottis Toole died in prison more than a decade over twelve years ago.

The competing books are also of interest. There's "Between Good and Evil," by Roger L. Depue, which like Walsh's book, gives a "with" credit to Susan Schindehette, of People Magazine's feature department. The subtitle "A Master Profiler's Hunt for Society's Most Violent Predators," may have more to do with an Israeli doctrine of preemptive retaliation, than voir dires, or airport screening, but surely it incorporates advancements in semi-processor speed, if not existential angst.

I think S. Michael is winking at me from his Amazon page right now! Stop it S.!

Anyway, at the beginning of Chapter I of Depue's book he says:
For ten years beginning in 1979, I was chief of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, at a time when its pioneering work in the field of criminal profiling first came to prominence, thanks in part to author Thomas Harris, who picked the brains of our profilers in conjuring up the character of Dr. Hannibal Lector for his novel The Silence of the Lambs.
Leaving aside for a moment an unfortunate lack of consciousness that allowed for Depue to write "picked the brains of our profilers" within such a context, (I hope they used asparagus forks!) what do you think "came to prominence" means? Since 1979 was the year of Etan Patz's disappearance from SoHo in New York City, in a similar circumstance of maternal obliviousness and publicity firestorm as found in the Walsh case---herein, the six-year-old Etan disappeared while walking by himself alone to a school bus stop several blocks away from the loft building where the Patz's lived, and since Etan Patz was the actual inaugural photograph of a missing child found printed on a milk carton, beating out the primacy hubris of "Adam," do you think that "came to prominence" might really mean something like "deception and fabrication through blending the lines between reality and artifice?" Is there a dairy council where I can get the statistics for children recovered? What about the lactose intolerant? Is the government liable to supply Beano on demand?

This reminds me---the interchange between Disney and Dreamworks, with the NSA and the CIA, is said to be so great that they even shared decorators, who when redoing conference rooms on both coasts installed the same manufacturer's table and chairs---except at NSA headquarters, they left the appliqued Mickey Mouse ears off the chair wingbacks. If this is true I owe a fact credit to Jane Meyer, but if apocryphal, my overwrought imagination can be blamed.

I'll give way now to a linear reading of S. Michael Wilson's New York Times' book review of Tears of Rage: Overacting 101, by the master of the genre, John Walsh, but I'll surely come back for more input below. I've hit pay dirt emotionally on this subject, activated by S. Michael's humorous and sane influence---and all I had to really do was risk being in exceedingly poor taste if found wrong in my analysis. But baby, all the patterns, and crutches, and cliches from my 9/11 and War on Terrorism study are abundantly on display. Truth resonates. Can synthesis be far away?




January 21, 2008, New York Book Time,
Book Review: Tears of Rage by John Walsh, Reviewed by S. Michael Wilson,

Don’t ask me why, but John Walsh has always rubbed me the wrong way. That’s the main reason I read this book, because if I’m going to have an opinion on somebody, I’d rather it be an informed one. And that’s really the only difference this book has had on my opinion: it has informed it.

John Walsh isn't a bad guy, and it is undeniable that both his political movements and his television shows have helped people and changed awareness and legal procedures for the better. But despite all he has done, it’s hard to actually like him.

The first fifty pages or so of the book deal with his personal background and personal history spanning from his childhood through the early years of Adam’s, and it is this completely self-indulgent section that really displays Walsh’s personality. By his own account, he is street-smart, a tough and skilled fighter, a great athlete as well as extremely bright, has never known fear or a lack of confidence, has saved lives without even thinking twice about it, and has never failed in any endeavor that he has pursued. Basically, he’s perfect. But what bleeds through this is the reality that he suffers from an oversized ego that motivates his self-centered world view. This self-centered (bordering on selfish) attitude is apparent in stories related by him in such away that you must assume that he doesn't see it himself. When Adam is born, for example, he is told by the hospital where his sick father is that he can not bring the child into the cancer ward, at the risk of infecting the floor full of patients with little or no immunity left. Knowing only that he wants his father to his grandson before he dies (which he would have anyway, as later they all go to Disneyworld together), he sneaks the newborn into the hospital via fire escape, regardless of the risk he puts the others in the cancer ward. Also, it is impossible that anything done by him or his wife could be wrong or ill-informed. When mentioning Adam’s natural birth without the aid of Lamaze, he makes a point of saying “I don’t even think there were those classes back then.” Being 1974, Lamaze was already a string movement, especially on the east coast where they were. Later, for their second child, he states that she started Lamaze classes then, but only in her eight month, when the fifth or sixth is when you usually begin. Nothing out of the ordinary there, right?

This self-centered egotism extends immediately to his son, whom he declares was the perfect one in the hospital. “All the other little babies, some were splotchy, others a little misshapen. Adam was the perfect little baby everyone was looking at.” Granted, every parent feels that his or her child is special, but by John Walsh’s factual depiction, it is quite possible the Adam, had he lived, would have been revealed as the Second Coming. Apparently, Adam did not share a single negative trait with the other dirty, filthy, and ill-mannered children that wander the planet. And everybody loved him and wished he were theirs, and all of their adult friends felt more comfortable talking to him than to other adults, because he was that well-mannered and mature and responsible and perfect. Blech. Some of his praise towards Adam also reveals a sort of class elitism, as he takes great pride that “Adam had sharp clothes. On the playground all of the other kids looked kind of scruffy compared to him.” It seemed important to Walsh that his son wore “not sneakers, but Top-Siders. And small Izod shirts instead of regular tee’s.” And let’s not forget about the Captain’s Hat, “…an expensive one with a black braid and a visor.” In the course of Reve Walsh’s description of the day that Adam disappeared, she makes mention of the hat at least three times, pointing out at each instance that it was “a nice one, not a cheap knock off version” like the other children wear. She even goes as far as to complain that this detail (among others) should have been used when the store attempted paging Adam.

The actual disappearance of Adam at Sears is, of course, the reason for anything, and it is also the main reason that I lose respect for John Walsh, as the one the fact that he and Reve refuse to admit, to themselves or anybody else, is that they (or, more directly, she) are just as much at fault as anybody else. The simple fact is that Adam’s mother leaves him alone in the store for a period of time that, while she is unclear about (“I was gone a few minutes. Five. Maybe ten altogether.”), can logically be clocked at a good ten or fifteen minutes by examining the list of things that she claims happened while he was from view. Also, during this time, she points out that she had made sure that he was close enough that she “could have” peeked around the corner at any time to check on him, which of course means that she didn't. Then, when she suddenly can’t find the child she had left alone in the store, she becomes frustrated and angry when her situation isn't immediately made top priority. This may seem a bit harsh on my behalf, but anybody who works in retail can tell you that negligent parents let their children run around stores all the time, then automatically assume that it is the store’s responsibility to play babysitter and round up their strays. And this is the same attitude that Reve, understandably yet at the same time predictably and unfairly, assumes almost immediately when her initial concerns are not met with the utmost urgency. John is quick to say that this is because his wife “She had on shorts, she was a woman, and she looked nineteen years old”, but the truth is because she was acting like your typical negligent parent. They goes out of his way to imply that the store and the police were slow and unwilling to help, yet neither of them knows who called finally called the police (which would mean that the store did, and means that they certainly didn't), and neither do they know who first informed the media during the first few hours of the search (which would mean that the police did, and again, that they didn’t). Does this make them bad parents? No, but their refusal to admit that others did take immediate steps to help them that they did not take themselves makes them stubbornly reluctant to share in blame. When they eventually dropped the lawsuit they brought against Sears, they claimed that they did so because the Sears lawyers were going to drag their names through the mud, and so they dropped the suit to protect their family as well as Adam’s Foundation. The truth hits a bit closer to home, that Sears was no more responsible than the mother who left the child unattended for up to a quarter of an hour.

Another distasteful trait of John Walsh’s is his tendency to use his dead son to win arguments. It is very evident throughout the book that Walsh has a short temper and a lack of emotional control, and in fact seems almost boastful of it. And while I like a “man of action who doesn't play nice” as much as the next person, I tend not to trust people who describe themselves as such. And while Walsh rightfully argues against the bureaucracies and politics that repeatedly impede him, his arguments always seem to be punctuated with phrases indicating that not he, but his innocent, brutally murdered son, demands that justice be served. Being the savvy advertising executive that he never tires of describing himself as, Walsh seemed to learn early on that while you can argue with a hot-headed activist, you can't argue with a dead child.

Again, I’m not painting Walsh as a demon, as he has done much good. And I am also not implying that he is completely bull-headed. He is the first to admit that he wouldn't have gotten a fraction of the media coverage he did if Adam were a lower-class minority child, and I agree with him completely for his criticisms of the psychics and religious fanatics that attempted to use the situation for their own advantage, as well as when he defends his wife against claims by the media the Reve didn't act the way a grieving mother should act, as if there is a right and wrong way for individuals to handle emotions that very few of us ever (thankfully) have to contend with. And while he at times seems to bend over backwards to both slam the cops and FBI for their bungling his son's murder investigation while at the same time praising both agencies for the good they do, it never appears phony or heavy handed. And, unlike Jon Benet’s parents, both John and Reve were quick to cooperate when the investigators turned their attention to them, knowing that the quickest way was to eliminate themselves as suspects. You see? I'm not out to get the guy. But when he talks about teaching his six year old son how to use a diving knife (yeah, that's safe), and when he recalls the humorous story of when he left his six month pregnant wife alone in shark infested waters, I can't help but feel a little contempt for him.

Oh yeah, a pretty good book, tends to cover all of the bases. Just beware that it isn't an objective view of the Adam Walsh case, but rather one man's crusade to tell his own story the way he sees it.

Reviewed by S. Michael Wilson

Posted by NY BOOK TIME at 4:29 AM
_______________________________________________________________________________

Well, I'm back, with the words "God bless the New York Times" on my lips. This comes from finding what is so far the earliest news coverage available online, at their archive---still over two years removed from the event itself, but still, providing many fun facts that will discontinue and entangle with what unfolds later.
This article is two years and three months into the new endless "fear of toothless homosexual cannibals stealing toddlers into made-for-TV movies," the precursor to endless War on Terror later. The first telecast, "Adam" aired 13 evenings previously, with a second version to follow in two years. Changes to federal law are already passed and signed, although not with quite the alacrity of the Patriot Act, but close.
An important fact here is a timestamp placed on our scapegoat, who is being brought to the attention of authorities to only enter the narrative now, 27 months after the kidnapping.
After a truly truly horrific childhood, which includes induction into Satanism at his grandmother's altar, Toole winds up in the state pen in Jacksonville in 1983, having killed a man in an arson, so any citations to him as a "convicted serial killer," or "convicted pederast" seem to be made up.
_____________________________________________________________________________

October 23, 1983, Inmate Reportedly Admits Killing That Spurred a Law, by Reginald Stuart,

HOLLYWOOD, Fla., Oct. 22— An inmate has confessed abducting and killing 6-year-old Adam Walsh in 1981, according to the police here. His parents' efforts to help other families with missing children led to enactment of a Federal law and a television movie about their ordeal.

The inmate, Otis Elwood Toole, 36, voluntarily confessed in Jacksonville earlier this week, the police said today, after his name had arisen in connection with Henry Lee Lucas, who was convicted of murder in Texas and claims to have killed as many as 200 women.

Both men said only Mr. Toole was involved in the case here, according to the police. Mr. Lucas was imprisoned at the time.

"He's the man," said Police Chief Samuel D. Martin, when asked how confident his investigators were about Mr. Toole's confession.

"I have gone over this so many times and tried so many angles to make sure we've got the right man," Mr. Martin said in an interview here today.

Not a Solid Case

Mr. Martin conceded that the department had "a lot more work to do on the case" before it was solid. Confessions often follow publicity about a murder case, legal experts say. But Mr. Toole was in Florida State Prison at Raiford, serving a 20-year sentence for arson, when a motion picture about the case, "Adam," was on television Oct. 10, so he did not watch the program.

According to Mr. Martin, Mr. Toole "knows too many things" to be the wrong suspect. He will probably be formally charged with the child's murder next week, Mr. Martin said.

Mr. Toole's purported confession was announced late last night by Mr. Martin and Assistant Chief Leroy Hessler in this South Florida community of about 125,000 people adjacent to Fort Lauderdale.

"I cannot comment on this individual, but am relieved that he is off the streets," John Walsh, the slain child's father, said at a news conference this afternoon. "My heart will be broken for the rest of my life. I will always miss him." Reve Walsh, the boy's mother, did not attend the news conference.

Fear Gripped Parents

Mayor David Keating said: "Everybody down here is very happy about it. I just hope this is the real thing, that this is the fellow that really did it."

Linda Blank, a mother of two children who lives in the same niehgborhood as the Walsh family, said she cried when she heard the news of the confession.

"What do you feel," said Mrs. Blank. "I just cried. You're mad. How can this happen? I just hope he gets justice."

She said Adam's abduction and murder prompted many parents here to protect their children more than in the past. Neither of her two children are allowed to play alone in the playground of the school across from their home. "It's a shame," she said. Cynthia Wood was shopping with her 8-year-old son today in the shopping mall where Adam was abducted in July 1981. "I'm glad it's solved," she said. "We were in the bookstore at exactly the same time Adam was taken, so it really hit home to me as a mother."

Walshes Pushed for Law

The Walsh family's pursuit of help from law-enforcement agencies for themselves and other families in similar situations was instrumental in enactment of the Missing Children Act, which requires the Federal Bureau of Investigation to keep more detailed records on missing children and makes it easier for parents to search for their children.

According to police accounts, Adam and his mother went shopping at the Hollywood Mall on July 27, 1981. Mrs. Walsh allowed her son to remain in a video-games display area of the Sears store there while she went to look at some lamps. When she returned, he was gone.

A store guard had reportedly ushered some older youths out of the display area and out of the store. Adam apparently left about the same time, perhaps wandering out on his own or perhaps being put out by the guard in the mistaken belief he was with the older youths. The Walshes later sued Sears.

Before the lawsuit was filed, Sears officials had helped the family in its efforts to find Adam and allowed producers of the movie to use a Sears store for a re-enactment.

Volunteer searches by hundreds of people turned up no leads, and police efforts were as fruitless. Less than a month later, Adam's severed head was found. Since then, the police unsuccessfully pored over thousands of leads.

Meeting on Confessions 

Then, early this month, the Hollywood police hit on a lead that took them to Jacksonville and eventually to Mr. Toole. They read that law-enforcement officials from several states had met in Monroe, La., to discuss the purported confessions of Mr. Lucas. In discussing some of the slayings, he reportedly said Mr. Toole had been involved.

Chief Martin said his detectives became interested when Mr. Lucas discussed crimes committed in Florida. They asked a police detective in Jacksonville investigating a series of unsolved murders there to ask Mr. Toole about the Walsh murder. The detective called them back early this week and advised them to come to Jacksonville, where Mr. Toole reportedly confessed.

Mr. Martin said the two men began informing on one another. "Toole got upset with Lucas, who was involving him in murders he didn't think he should have talked about," he said. "So he got upset and decided he would implicate Lucas in some."

Assistant Chief Hessler said Mr. Toole cried a little when questioned about the Walsh killing. "Of all he talked about, this was the only homicide that really bothered him," Mr. Hessler said.

photo of John Walsh; photo of Adam Walsh; photo of Otis Elwood Toole

_______________________________________________________________________________

December 28, 1997, New York Times, A Murdered Child And a Media Assault, by Johanna Berkman,

YOU'VE seen it on the covers of books by Donald J. Trump and other celebrities, the well-known name paired with another that is not.

''Tears of Rage,'' written by the host of ''America's Most Wanted,'' John Walsh, with Susan Schindehette, a senior writer for People who worked on the book at her home in Southold, follows the convention.

Their subject, however, is anything but standard. Viewers of ''America's Most Wanted,'' on Fox-TV, know that Mr. Walsh is a close friend of law enforcement. It comes as a surprise that much of the rage in the book is directed at police officers in Hollywood, Fla., who for 15 years unsuccessfully investigated the kidnapping and slaying of Mr. Walsh's 6-year-old son Adam.

In an interview Mr. Walsh characterized the officers as lazy and incompetent. ''They were bumbling and stumbling along,'' Mr. Walsh said. ''They were afraid to ask for help.''

The boy's head was found in 1981 in a drainage canal near Vero Beach, 120 miles from his home in Hollywood, and the officials did not recover the rest of his body.

In ''Tears of Rage,'' which was on the list of Best Sellers in The New York Times for two weeks in October, Mr. Walsh and Ms. Schindehette explored the police department's decisions and suggested what might have been done. They described Mr. Walsh's struggle to regain happiness in his personal life and his success in carving a prominent niche as a crime fighter and an advocate of children's and victims' rights.

''We're past trying to hold on to one sad tragedy,'' Mr. Walsh wrote. ''Let's not stay stuck on this little gap-toothed face wearing a baseball cap. It's not just about our son anymore. It's about a lot of people's kids.''

What prompted Mr. Walsh to write the memoir, he said, was not simply his sense that his account could benefit others, but also his anger over the release of his son's case file.

In February 1996, the confidential case file was opened to the public as a result of a lawsuit filed by The Mobile Press Register and several Florida newspapers. ''Newspaperswere looking to get into the case -- not to solve it,'' Mr. Walsh said, ''but because I was well known on television, and they were looking to dig up stuff. They used the haughty guise of First Amendment rights.''

The file shows that Ottis Elwood Toole, a sociopathic criminal, was a prime suspect. Mr. Toole had confessed to the crime several times while in prison, but also recanted.(He has since died.)

The authors argue that after Mr. Toole's first confession, in 1983, the police were reluctant to pursue the case against him. ''It never seemed to occur to the cops that the most maddening part about Toole's confessions -- his inconsistencies and fuzzy recall -- might actually have a reasonable explanation. Any normal person would certainly remember having committed a homicide. But to Toole, as he himself once said, murder was no more memorable than 'smoking a cigarette.' ''

The police, Mr. Walsh wrote, gravely misstepped when they played tough with the suspect. ''As everyone knew, hardball didn't work with Toole; you had to coax him.'' While Mr. Toole was arrested for the boy's murder, he was never indicted .

For Ms. Schindehette, as for Mr. Walsh, the book is a first. Before signing on as co-author of ''Tears of Rage,'' Ms. Schindehette had unsuccessfully tried to expand an article that she had written for People into a book. She had wanted to co-author an autobiography of a daughter of a lady-in-waiting to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, wife of Czar Nicholas II.

In a short while, a friend who was an editor at Pocket Books called to ask whether she would like to be Mr. Walsh's co-author. After meeting for dinner with a group that included Mr. Walsh's wife, Reve; the editor, and a group of producers and agents, Ms. Schindehette and Mr. Walsh decided to work together.

The pairing might appear bizarre. Mr. Walsh spent a good deal of the book berating reporters who portrayed Mrs. Walsh, who was young, attractive and dressed in a leotard and gym shorts on the day their son disappeared, as an irresponsible parent. Mrs. Walsh had gone to Sears to buy a lamp and had left Adam alone in the toy department for a few minutes.

Mrs. Walsh is quoted in ''Tears of Rage'' as regretting her choice of attire. 'I should have been wearing something conservative, a nice dress. Something more appropriate for the day when you go to the mall and all of a sudden your little boy isn't there anymore.''

Mr. Walsh also complained that the press portrayed him, a marketing executive with clients in the Bahamas hotel industry, as someone ''with connections to the mob.''

He also contended that reporters focused on an affair that Mrs. Walsh was having with a family friend who lived in their house. (The Walshes remained married and now have three children.)

Asked how her magazine handled such information, Ms. Schindehette said, ''Frankly I think People magazine has always tended to handle these stories with a sense of responsibility.''

Mr. Walsh, she added, had been featured in People several times, most recently in a cover article on the parents of slain children.

As soon as Ms. Schindehette heard about the project, she recounted, she sent Mr. Walsh a letter explaining why she was particularly interested in co-authoring his story: she had once been the victim of a violent crime.

Ms. Schindehette, who has been a consultant to the media and ethics advisory committee of the National Organization for Victim Assistance, said her experience, although not of the magnitude of Mr. Walsh's, had heightened her sensitivity, adding:

''I think that the whole point of this book that I wrote with John, the subtext was to show people, to show other journalists, that at least in some cases the story of the victim is a whole lot more compelling, a whole lot more emotionally gripping than the story of who the perpetrators are.''

Mr. Walsh, she said, has a warm personality. ''I see him on television and I see that tough bandy Irish rooster persona, and it makes me laugh because he's so much warmer, so much funnier, so much softer a human being than you would ever know,'' she said. ''I didn't think it was my job to be distanced and have perspective. I thought that my job was to get as far inside John Walsh's head that I could literally write what I knew he was thinking.''

Photos: Susan Schindehette of Southold, co-writer with John Walsh, host of television's ''America's Most Wanted'' series, of a book about the aftermath of the murder of Mr. Walsh's 6-year-old son Adam 15 years ago in Florida. No one was charged in the case. Mr. Walsh is especially critical of the media's treatment of the case and his family. (Tapp Francke for The New York Times)




















Rob Lowe: So they literally came and took them away?


Published on Jan 14, 2013
Actor Rob Lowe shares his thoughts on guns, gun control and a potential assault weapons ban.




Piers Morgan: I just don't get the assault weapon thing. I don't get why responsible gun owners in this country aren't rising up together and saying, 'you know what, they have no place in a civilized society.

Rob Lowe: Let me ask you, because I know you've really been leading the charge on this...I haven't heard anyone articulate to me what would really be the problem with an assualt weapons ban--we've had it before.

Piers Morgan: You had a kind of woolly ban. It had so many exemptions to it.

Rob Lowe: Right that's the issue..

Piers Morgan: If you leave hundreds of thousands of them still on the streets it's not a ban. In Britain, when we had our Sandy Hook at Dumblane, there was a national ban on handguns and assualt weapons, and they all got taken away. If you were found with one you were sent to jail.

A dumbfounded Rob Lowe: So they literally came and took them away?

Piers Morgan: Yeah...this word confiscation causes mass terror in America...'you're not taking my guns!'

Rob Lowe: Yeah, it's a complicated issue.
Could Piers really be this dense? The owners of assault weapons don't need that sort of firepower for hunting or protecting their homes and families from the stated threats---like criminals or madmen. They need it to stand up to the potential for tyranny, from alphabet agencies, like the DEA, FEMA, the ATF, FBI, CIA, IRS etc., being utilized as tools of corporate fascism. Some people feel we stopped being a constitutional democracy a while ago, and instead are living legally under some sort of Continuity of Government protocol. Of course, we wouldn't realize this little legal technicality until the moment our diminished rights were asserted upon us, although, during the lead up to that moment it would still have empowered the federal powers to behave in reprehensible ways.

The Dunblane school massacre, on March 13, 1996, in which the gunman, 43-year-old Thomas Hamilton, entered the school armed with four handguns, shooting and killing sixteen children and one adult before committing suicide, led directly to the enactment of U.K.'s Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 and the Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997, which effectively made private ownership of handguns illegal in the United Kingdom.

His two 9 mm Browning HP pistols were only semi-automatic weapons, while the two Smith & Wesson M19 .357 Magnum revolvers used, were double action, so even slower---albeit with a "positive reputation for stopping power." Does Piers Morgan really think this case supports his argument about eliminating only the most grievous firepower from private American hands?

On the contrary, Piers reveals the hand the overlords of Merry Ole England played as they now wait for the next round for the squeeze play.

Did Piers ever consider that Thomas Hamilton may not have been an entirely "legitimate" volitional mass killer? That his actions may have been orchestrated or controlled in some fashion to serve plans and agendas of some secret ruling cabal? Otherwise, the timing would seem suspiciously non-random, and the stereotypical demonization of an errant Scout Master, morally suspect in his intentions with boys, right for that decade, if not now.

As an American devotee of non-violence who highly suspects our leaders of malfeasance and disloyalty to the Constitution, I feel much safer knowing a maximum amount of firepower is held in a diverse cross-section of hands all across our nation. We may not be able to stop acts of staged or willed terror like Sandy Hook and Columbine, but we could have already descended into tyranny, and bloodshed far greater, if Pier's proposal had prevailed. And maybe, in the meantime, we've bought ourselves some time, and a solution will present itself.




Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Would a Scholar Really Be Pinching an 1,000-Year-Old Document Like That?

And I mean "pinching" literally.


Illuminating Jewish Life in a Muslim Empire




Jim Hollander/European Pressphoto Agency

Prof. Haggai Ben-Shammai of the National Library of Israel, which obtained 29 handwritten texts from the 11th century.

By ISABEL KERSHNER

Published: January 14, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

Abu Sayyaf Understudies and Crowd Scenes

Speaking to reporters over a fortnight after the predominately Christian town of Ipil in the southern Philippines had been savagely assaulted on April 4, 1995, the military spokesperson, Maj. Gen. Edgardo Batenga took what until then had been a weakly unverified attribution of responsibility for the crime tagging the militant Islamic group "Abu Sayyaf,"  and instead came out with some amazingly specific data that placed the perpetration squarely on the shoulders of the so-called Abu Sayyaf---albeit with a little help from their separatist friends

Euphemistically referring to a factionalized Muslim separatist movement by its place names, Batenga added that "other armed groups that reinforced the Basilan based Muslim extremist group that attacked Ipil are breakaway factions of the mainstream Moro National Liberation Front."

The group identity "Abu Sayyaf" had only been created in 1991 as a "breakaway faction" of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which itself had broken away from the dominating Muslim separatist movement, the
Moro National Liberation Front  during earlier peace plan agreements. The rebonding the general describes belies a group identity based on ideological differences, and instead describes a public identity based on perceived behavior




Here is how Rudy Saavedra writing in the Manila Standard on April 21, 1995, transmitted the General's breakdown :

227 raiders
The Southcom chief said there were 227 raiders, 107 of whom cam from Basilan Province under Anwar Mohamad; 55 from Sulu under Commander Polaili Sualbi; 16 from Pangian, Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte led by Commander Husin Inok; 15 from Sacol island, Zamboanga under Badding Badiri and 23 from Tungawan, Zamboanga del Sur under Atip Nieto and Jimlan Salvador.

Separatists Arriving Separately

How anyone could establish a specific overall number for the participants of a multi-pronged assault who had arrived by both land and sea, in an attack whose multiple individual encounters ranged over several square downtown blocks is farcical to imagine. At no time did the attackers assemble to parade as a phalanx while whistling A Bridge Over the River Kwai, letting observers count them in rows across and down.

Too Much, Too Late

Instead, perhaps Batenga's precise accounting for the attack is evidence that developed intelligence sources allowed him to become privy to the advance planning information or documents, but this would only reinforce the impression that such knowledge had come after-the-fact. In a real-world intelligence scenario all it would have taken was for one out of the 226 participants (someone's addition is off by one) to have given advance notice of the impending attack for the town to have arranged for some sort of defense

At best, the Abu Sayyaf was a very loosely structured group which didn't display a "close organizational relationship" within itself, let alone with any former comrades of questionable loyalty, individuals who remained at all times economic, if not ideological, competitors. For instance, when the millions of dollars in cash ransom from the Sipadan kidnappings actually arrived in 2000, it led to infighting amongst the Abu Sayyaf with collegial gunfire that killed almost two dozen men

The "tactical alliance" that General Batenga wants us to believe took place to effect a savage attack that promised more onus than glory, could only have occurred within a disciplined hierarchical structure alien to the culture of offshoots or banditry.

"Nom de Guerre"

And then there are those stage names! I've collected over 8,000 news articles on the larger subject of the Abu Sayyaf and I knew I'd never encountered any of these names---even before a collective big red statement by spellchecker.

A search on Google bore this out. With three of the names, "Commander Polaili Sualbi"" (A dish of creamed rice, or Polish sausage?), "Commander Husin Inok" (Knock-Knock? Who's there?), and "Badding Badiri" (Bedding the Barfly? Bats in the belfry?) Google did not return a single result:







____________________________________________________________________________

"Atip Nieto" returned one significant result, which described him as being a "prominent member" of the Moro National Liberation Front (the original source is in French, but below is the Google English translation.) However, that is not at all the same thing as being a former, disaffected, "breakaway," or "Lost Command" leader from the MNLF, whom General Batenga describes as joining in with the Abu Sayyaf in attacking Ipil:


Mindanao: a terrorist attack resulted in dozens of deaths in the town of Ipil  [EDA Bulletin No. 197]

16/04/1995

On 4 April 1995, at midday, about 200 armed men stormed the headquarters of the police and military installations of the town of Ipil, Zamboanga del Sur province in Mindanao. The attack left 46 dead and 47 wounded. Five people were missing and forty were taken hostage the police chief and the commander of the infantry battalion of Ipil are among those killed. The attackers stormed banks downtown, set fire to shops and commercial buildings, a cinema and government offices. According to a radio message Hongkong, April 7, terrorists pursued by the army have done some dozens of hostages taken by them.


Several days after the case, no organization had claimed responsibility. According to Mr. Orville Gabuna, regional director of the police, the terrorist leader could be a "commander Atip Nieto," prominent member of the Moro liberation nationale, whose son was in prison at Ipil. But others suspect the fundamentalist group Abu Sayyaf, author of numerous bombings, killings and kidnappings in the region and whose headquarters is located in the mountains of Basilan.

Archbishop Carmelo Morelos, Archbishop of Zamboaga and President of the Episcopal Conference has appealed to the"bishops, priests and laity to seek their assistance to victims of atrocities" suffered by the residents of Ipil.


The "Lost Commands" were just a nice way of describing individuals who has lost their positions within the hierarchical military structures of the MNLF and the MILF---men who had been kicked out with cause, and who'd be better described as outlaw outcasts, or better still, "common criminals."

Although the status of Atip Nieto is wrongly indicated , the descriptor perfectly fits "Commander Jimlan Salvador, an MNLF Lost Command leader," in one search return, a reference which also credits him with playing the overall leadership role:
________________________________________________________________________________

Abu kills cop in new clash. Hostilities spread to other Mindanao Islands

By Victoria Calaguian, in Today, 16 April 1995

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Punitive operations against Moro bandits who raided Ipil, Zamboanga del Sur, almost two weeks ago were expanded as an elite police team was sent to islands around Sulu in pursuit of the raiders.

In Manila, President Ramos ordered the Philippine National Police yesterday to "isolate and crush the Abu Sayyaf bandits" by eliminating their access to their foreign terrorist supporters.

Reports reaching the Southern Command headquarters here said that so far a policeman had been killed in an encounter with bandits on Pata Island, Sulu, last Friday.

The identity of the slain policeman was not revealed until his next of kin has been notified. Military authorities said he was assigned to the elite Regional Special Action force.

According to reports, sporadic gun battles were still going on last night between the rebels and government forces.

Maj. Gen. Edgardo Batenga, Southcom chief, said pursuit operations against the joint Abu Sayyaf-Moro National Liberation Front fighters who remained in the Zamboanga peninsula after the Ipil raid are still going on.

However, reports said government forces are having a hard time tracking down the bandits. Sources said Commander Jimlan Salvador, an MNLF Lost Command leader who has taken the leadership of the joint MNLF-Abu Sayyaf group, is from Tungawan, Zamboanga del Sur, and residents in the area have been giving the raiders sanctuary.

Batenga said another hostage, Gilbert Emperado, 16, has escaped. The bandits now have only 14 hostages, including Jocelyn Ortega, an engineer.

Of the original 50 hostages, six were killed, and 30 have escaped.

Residents here doubt whether Abu Sayyaf members or even MNLF guerillas perpetuated the Ipil raid.

Random interviews conducted by TODAY show that many of the people here believe that it may have been a military group or at least a military or police supported group that raided Ipil.

If the raiders were Muslims, the residents said, the banks in Ipil would not have been robbed and people would not have been shot indiscriminately.

However, Batenga said some residents here started believing the disinformation being spread by groups sympathetic to the Abu Sayyaf and the MNLF.

"The military and the police have no motive to raid and burn Ipil and indiscriminately kill its residents," Batenga told TODAY.

Ramos issued the directive after receiving a report from Gen. Recaredo Sarmiento, Philippine National Police Chief, who told the president that a captured Abu Sayyaf member confirmed the group's links with the group of international terrorist Ramzi Ahmad Yousef.

Edwin Angeles said in a signed affidavit that Yousef, who is believe to be the mastermind in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, had met several times with the Abu Sayyaf.

Angeles also revealed that the Abu Sayyaf, supported by international terrorists, was responsible for at least 10 bombings of commercial and military establishments in the South and in Metro Manila.

LINK:
 _____________________________________________________________________

March 30, 1995, Filipino Reporter, Abu Sayyaf top guns are captured, by Marilyn Abalos, 461 words Diigo,

The Philippine National Police (PNP) announced the capture of several top leaders of the notorious Abu Sayyaf group led by the younger brother of Abu Sayyaf chieftain Ustadz Abubakar Abdulrajak Janjalani.

In a press conference held at Camp Crame, Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Rafael Alunan III identified those arrested by combined police and Marine agents as Khadaffi Monato Janjalani, younger brother of Ustadz Abubakar; Juvenal Bruno aka Jove Bruno, reportedly the No. 2 man of the Abu Sayyaf group in Sulu; Yasin Sali Ibno Kamar, finance officer and brother-in-law of Abu Sayyaf chieftain Janjalani, Benfar Nurani, Edris Jal and Balling Samlah.

According to Alunan, the six ranking Abu Sayyaf were intercepted last March 1 at the Marine checkpoint at Tagbak, Indanan, Sulu by the elements of the 2nd Marine brigade headed by Col. Ponciano Millena.

Alunan added that the six were arrested after the release of the five government surveyors of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) last Feb. 28 in Sumisip, Basilan.

Alunan said that the five government surveyors were released unharmed by their abductors through the negotiation efforts of both Sulu Gov. Tupay Loong and former Rep. Sakur Tan of Sulu.

The arrested Abu Sayyaf members were presented to media as Secretary Alunan said that cases of kidnapping with ransom will be filed against them in Sulu.

Also, PNP chief Director-General Recaredo Sarmiento announced the formal surrender of Edwin Angeles, Abu Sayyaf chief or operations and political affairs officer and five of his followers with several high powered firearms last Feb. 21, in Jolo, Sulu.

Sarmiento said that the surrender of Angeles, who is listed in top 20 most wanted persons in the PNP order of battle, was made possible through the efforts of ex-Rep. Tan in close coordination with the PNP.

____________________________________________________________________________

He was Khadaffi "Monato" Janjalani, at the time of his arrest in 1995 (Monato being his mother's maiden name) but this changes at some point to Khadafi "Abubakar" Janjalani, and this certainly becomes official by the time the U.S. indictment was handed down on July 23, 2002 listing him as such. See: July 25, 2002, Reuters / The China Post, RP will try Abu Sayyaf guerrillasDiigo,
U.S. Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson said in Washington on Tuesday a federal grand jury had handed down a five-count indictment against five guerrilla leaders alleged to have masterminded the May 2001 kidnapping of three Americans and 17 others in the Philippines. 
Death for Abu Sayyaf 
If the defendants were caught, taken to the United States to stand trial and convicted, they could face the death penalty on four of the five counts, U.S. Justice Department officials said.

"Abubakar," or its approximate, was the middle name of Khadaffi's brother, the founder of the Abu Sayyaf, Aburajak Abubakr Janjalani. See:


August 9, 2000, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Bin Laden funds Abu Sayyaf through Muslim relief group, Pt.1, Christine Herrera,
Original Abu
The original Abu Sayyaf was headed by  and another faction was led by Galib Andang, aka Commander Robot, who broke away from the Moro National Liberation Front after the formation of the Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development under former Moro National Liberation Front chief Nur Misuari.
Anzar said Bin Laden and Khalifa financed the urban warfare and terrorism training in Libya of their recruits to the Abu Sayyaf, including Janjalani and Edwin Angeles, the founding Abu Sayyaf vice commander and intelligence chief.
________________________________________________________________________________

Team: Three individual Marines assigned to a specific team.

Squad: Three Teams are assigned to a specific squad.

Platoon: Three squads are usually assigned to a specific platoon.

Company (or Battery): Three platoons are assigned to a Company (sometimes called a battery). The Company/battery is the lowest level of command with a headquarters element (example, a Company Commander, or Company First Sergeant). 81

Battalion: Three companies/batteries are assigned to form a battery a batallion. 243

Regiment: Three battalions form a Regiment (Sometimes called a Brigade).

Division: Three Brigades are assigned to make up a Division.

Marine Corps: Three or more divisions make up the Marine Corps.

LINK:

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Abu Sayyaf guerillas behind numerous Mindanao murders

By: Felino M. Santos/Philippine News Agency
As reprinted from The Manila Times dtd 18,19 & 20, 2002
ZAMBOANGA CITY - The extremist Abu Sayyaf based in Basilan and Sulu, has left a bloody trails of bombings, murder, rapes, extortion and kidnappings on the past 10 years.
A list compiled by the Combined Information Bureau (CIB) of the RP-US Balikatan shows some 90 incidents.
The CIB document and files from the Philippine New Agency (PNA) in Zamboanga shows the extremist group as the most brutal murderous and beastly gang to operate in Mindanao.
PNA-CIB files showed that for a period of over 10 years , the extremist group has been responsible for 18 bombing/grenade attacks, which left scores of people dead or crippled.
In about 20 incidents of murder or deliberate beheading of the victims, the files list some 60 victims.
About 50 kidnapping incidents are also in the list with the victims reaching nearly 200. some of the incidents never even made it to the military files.

Bombings

The extremist Abu Sayyaf first hit the scene by bombing the cultural (farewell) night of the floating bookship the M/V Doulos in Zamboanga in the first week of August 1991. Two foreign crew were killed.
Other previous incidents of violence had always been blamed on the Moro National Liberation Front. But shortly after the Doulos attack someone called up a radio station and acknowledged responsibility on behalf of the Abu Sayyaf, saying it was a punishment for the sale of the Christian books.
Three months later, three movie houses were bombed. Projector operator died. Again the Abu Sayyaf claimed responsibility, claiming the theaters were showing "obscene films."
On Aug 12, 1992, unidentified men exploded bombs or lobbed grenades at hundreds of people who were at the Fort Pilar Shrine in Zamboanga City, killing three children and injuring 39 others.

Grissly record

The other bombing incidents in the region include:
July 26, 1992- Bombing of the old public market in Zamboanga City resulting in the wounding of several people.
Aug13, 1992 - Bombing of the Mount Carmel Church in Jolo, Sulu that wounded one person.
July 31, 1993- Bombing in Isabela, Basilan which resulted in the wounding of several persons.
Aug 1, 1993 - Bombings in Zamboanga City old public market that left 13 people injured.
May 25, 1996 - Bombing at Barangay Sengal, Lamitan. No casualty was reported.
April 11, 1998- Bombing on Roxas St., Isabela, Basilan.
Jan 13, 1999-Grenade explosion inside Gurrea Store in Maluso, Basilan. No one was injured.
Jan 24, 1999-Grenade explosion which resulted to eight civilians while members of the Miracle Crusade were conducting prayer in Maluso, Basilan.
Sept 14, 1998-Bombing of the 2nd Floor of Southern Mindanao College, Pagadian City.
July 30, 2001 - Grenade throwing at the Mt Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu.
Ferocious is an apt description for the Abu Sayyaf. The first cold-blooded murder claimed by the Abu Sayyaf was the May 11, 1992 killing of Italian priest Fr. Salvatorre Carzedda in Zamboanga City.
At dawn of Sept 21, 1992- unidentified men lobbed a grenade inside the Religious Radio Station DXMS at Tugbungan, Zamboanga City, killing Pastor Greg Hapalla and two student friends of the reverend.
On Dec 28, 2002 Rev. Benjamin Inocencio, parish priest of Jolo, was riding a jeep with his driver when an unidentified men fired at him pointblank, killing him on the spot and seriously wounding his driver Domingo Pamah.
Another notable murder victim was Fr. Rhoel Gallardo kidnapped lat March 20, 2002 at Tumahubong, Basilan who along with four others were murdered after being tortured on May, 2001. The priest's killers belong to the same extremist which are holding American missionary couple Martin and Grace Burnham kidnapped from Dos Palmas, Palawan last May 27, 2001.
Before the murder of Gallardo, the kidnappers also beheaded two teacher hostages, companions of the kidnapped priests on April 29, 2000.
To stress their demands for foreign negotiators to free the Dos Palmas Palawan hostage taken captive last May 27, 2001, the extremist beheaded two of their hostages; namely Sonny Daquer and Armando Bayona on June 3, 2001. Bayona is said to be a nephew of Radio Mindanao Network DXRZ manager Rey Bayonging, the radio station linked to the extremists.
And on June 12, 2001, Aldam Tillao alias Abu Sabaya announced the beheading of American hostage Guillermo Sobero as an "Independence Day gift" to the government.
On June 22, 2001- They beheaded Golden Harvest hostages Primitivo Falcassantos and Crisanto Suelo.
The Abu Sayyaf, however, has raised kidnapping for ransom to a fine art, with a wide range of victims.
Feb 10, 1993- Luis Anthony Biel Sr., his grandson and a house boy in Isabela, Basilan.
March 18, 1993- Spanish priest Fr. Bernardo Blanco in Isabela, Basilan.
April 7, 1993- A certain Maing and an unidentified woman in Maluso, Basilan.
Aug 1, 1993 - Fourteen civilians in Isabela, Basilan.
Aug 5, 1993- Businessman Ricardo Tong in Zamboanga City.
Nov 14, 1993-Summer Institute of Linguistics Personnel Charles Walton in Pangataran, Sulu.
March 7, 1994- Five teachers in Basilan.
March 17, 1994- Carol Ong in Zamboanga City.
July 24, 1994- Father Clarence Bertelsmann, kidnapped after saying Mass at Camp Asturias Chapel, Sulu. Rescued hours later as kidnap group tried to shoot it out with MNLF at checkpoint at Sitio Bauno, Brgy Tagbag, Indanan,
Sept 14, 1994-National Irrigation employees, Rolando Rizon, Nicolas Antequina and Rebecca Dipay kidnapped in their bunkhouse at Piakan, Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte by the group of Jimlan Salvador. Rizon died a week later from diabetic complications. Antequina and Dipay were released in Curuan Island, Zamboanga City.
May 14, 1996- Bobong Matiaong and Jose Salvacion, farmers in Barangay Maggas, Lantawan, Basilan,kidnapped and executed
May 16, 1996- A certain Mrs Salvacion in Lantawan, Basilan.
Aug 15, 1996-a grandson of Basilan Congressman Candu Muarip.
July 6, 1997 - Kidnapping/killing of Raquel Calipis, her daughter and Jerry Rodrigo at Brgy Banker, Kabasalan, Zamboanga del sur.
July 9, 1997- Floriano Bucoy Jr. at Peninsula Hotel, Pagadian City.
Aug 10, 1997- Kidnapping of Malina Saha at Brgy Badja, Tipo-Tipo, Basilan.
Aug 26, 1997- Pong Heronimo, employee of SPDA at Panigaya, Isabela, Basilan.
Sept 9, 1997- Robert Beush, general manager of the Mar Fishing Tuna Canning Factory in Caragasan, Zamboanga City.
Nov 13, 1997- Efifania Sotito, Max Sotito and Sano, Jiji Patris, Jong Jong Patris, at Upper Maluso, Basilan.
Nov 14, 1997- Barangay Captain Arsenio Anradis Caong at Igat Island, Margosatubig, Zamboanga del Sur.
March 22, 1998- Cpl Jonarie Magtiza MP while riding Tamaraw passenger jeep in Bilaan, Talipao, Sulu.
April 17, 1998- Romeo Buenbrazo, Avelino Bucon and Mario Pioquinto in Barangay Tubigan, Maluso, Basilan.
Sept 7, 1998- Raymond Chua, in Barangay Diki, Malamawi, Isabela, Basilan.
Sept 28, 1998- Michael Diaz in Sta Cruz, Kabasalan, Zamboanga del Sur.
Nov 12, 1998- Noemi Sangkula, a teacher in Lower Banas Elementary school in Basilan.
March 21, 1999- Luis Toh in Margosatubig, Zamboanga del sur.
June 19, 1999- Leiven dela Marche and journalist Eric Bracke who were on the way to a picnic at the Santa Cruz Island, Zamboanga City.
Aug 31, 1999- Wilmary Furigay in Lamitan, Basilan.
Sept 30, 1999- Modesto Natividad in Manixahan, Zamboanga City.
Feb 15, 2000- Andy Amante, bookkeeper of Phil Federacion for Natural Family Planning by the group of Galib Andang.
March 9, 2000- Two teachers at Islamiya Elementary School in Cabahay, Zamboanga City.
March 20, 2000- Fr Roel Gallardo, teachers and students at Tumahubong Claret High School and Sinangcapan National High School in Tuburan, Basilan Province.
April 24, 2000- Twenty one foreigners at Sipadan Beach Resort, Sabah, Malaysia by the group of Andang, Susukan, Janjalani and Sabaya.
July 1, 2000- Andreas Lorenz, a German correspondent for DER Spiegel Magazine, at Kasalamatan Village, Jolo, Sulu.
July 1, 2000- Thirteen (13) Jesus Miracle Crusade (JMC) religious led by Evangelist Wilde Almeda at Indanan, sulu.
July 10, 2000-Two French journalist connected with French TV
July 24, 2000-ABS-CBN correspondent Maan Cuenca and Val Cuenca
Aug 1, 2000- Samuel Ramillano, Reynante dela Cruz and Nelson Habiba were abducted by the ASG at Sitio Buhangin, Barangay Darayan, Patikul, Sulu.
Aug 31, 2000- Jeffrey Schilling.
Sept 10, 2000- Three (3) unidentified persons at Pasil Diving Resort, Pandanan Island, Sempurnah, Malaysia.
Feb 21, 2001- Norhaina Daud- daughter of Mayor Mayor Tapul Danny Daud.
April 24, 2001- Nuhon Undali from Jolo, Sulu.
May 27, 2001- Three Americans and 17 Filipinos at Dos Palmas Island resort, Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
June 2, 2001- Four Hospital employees at Dr. Jose Maria Torres in Lamitan, Basilan.
June 11, 2001- Abduction of 50 persons at Golden Harvest Plantation in Tairan, Lantawan, Basilan.
June 13, 2001- attack of the municipal hall of Lantawan, Basilan.
Aug 2, 2001- Thirty two villagers of Sitio Baguniao, Barangays Balobo, Lamitan, Basilan, Province. Of the 32 victims, 10 males were hacked to death and a female victim confessed she was raped in front of her four-year-old daughter, by her abductors.

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Oct 27th, 2011, Xinhua / Tempo, Gov't not to allow false reports to undermine peace process, Diigo,

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) — The Philippine government clarified Wednesday that the 5 million pesos (116,000 U.S. dollars) that President Benigno Aquino III gave to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was intended to jumpstart the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI), dismissing news reports that the fund was used by the rebels to buy guns and ammunition.

"The 5 million pesos is a commitment made by the previous administration. It is intended to fast-track the establishment of the institute," government chief negotiator Marvic Leonen explained.

Leonen said the government would remain steadfast in finding a peaceful solution to the armed conflict.

"We will not let false reports undermine the peace process. I urge the public to stay heedful of what is happening and analytical of the information that they receive," he underscored.

The Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute is a training center for Bangsamoro leaders and managers who will be serving their communities in the future.

Leonen said he handed the 5-million peso check to MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ibrahim during the parties' last round of formal exploratory talks on Aug. 22-23 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This was announced during the Aug. 23 press conference held by the government panel following the meeting in the Malaysian capital.

Leonen related that the establishment of The Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute was discussed during negotiations at the 10th Formal Exploratory Talks in February, 2006. It was finalized and formally agreed upon during the 14th formal exploratory talks held on Nov. 14-15, 2007, with funding commitment from the Philippine Government to jumpstart the institute’s operations.

He added that Aquino approved the appropriation for the institute during the consultation with the panel early this year.

"During his one-on-one meeting with MILF chair Murad in Tokyo last August 5, the president again expressed his support to the BLMI. He then instructed the peace panel to hand the check to the Moro group," said Leonen.

Calls for an all-out war were made by various sectors after 19 government soldiers were killed in a bloody clash in the southern Philippine province of Basilan last week.

The MILF has been fighting government troops for decades to establish a self-rule Muslim sub-state in the south of the predominantly Catholic country. Peace talks between the government and the MILF stalled in August 2008 following the aborted signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain. A final peace deal with the government will touch the issues of autonomy and the civil settlement of the rebel group’s 11,800-strong guerrilla fighters.

______________________________________________________________________________

April 21, 1995, Manila Standard, page A3, Most of Sayyaf men back in home bases, says AFP, by Rudy Saavedra,

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Oops -- What Ramos meant to say was....

The following notice is found on page three of the April 18, 1995 edition of the Manila Standard, and as its title might barely indicate---Afghanistan, not Pakistan - FVR---Philippine president Fidel V. Ramos, in a "hastily-called press briefing," attempts to clear up some factual misrepresentation he was responsible for having "emanated" earlier.

In a nut shell: Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, on a two-day trip to Manila made at least six weeks prior, had disclosed to president Ramos her knowledge of the existence of terrorist training facilities, where "guerrilla warfare" was being taught to an international cadre of Muslim Jihadists, in which certain Filipino Muslims under the rubric of the "Abu Sayyaf" had been, and continued to be trained, "in batches," with "many" of these finished "Abu Sayyaf members"..."already returned to Mindanao," which Ramos viewed as the explanation for a noticeable "upsurge of their terrorist activities there."

Bhutto had supposedly told Ramos that these training camps for "international terrorists" were happening just over her country's border in Afghanistan, and that Pakistan itself had been victimized by these camp graduates--"whatever be their nationality," as President Ramos puts it. But by some misunderstanding, or illogic, Ramos came away from his meetings with Bhutto believing that the activity she described was taking place in "underground camps in Pakistan" itself, which was what he then, apparently, sourced to the press.

Furthermore, President Ramos subsequently backtracks on the existence of finished graduates from the batch-job being done on selected Filipino Muslims, now saying Abu Sayyaf members could "possibly" have returned after training, although this would mean his remarked-upon "upsurges" in terrorist activity in Mindanao were simply coincidental.



We can leave aside for a moment the further lines of questioning that such a change in factual understanding would occasion between two world leaders as they met to discuss the problem of "international" terrorism, for an issue of decided more local interest had intervened after Ramos's meeting with Bhutto, and his misrepresentation of what she had disclosed.

Directly over this notice on page three of the April 18 edition of the Manila Standard is this article by Rudy Saavedra:



Which this front-page headline led into:





Whenever I try to visualize the goings-on in an Afghani terrorist training camp, (Hazing rituals in the beginning? A medallion ceremony at graduation?) I get stuck at that scene in Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11, where a sequence of be-turbaned trainees develop their agility by hand-walking across an elevated Jungle-Gym, but with this Rudy Saavedra report I'm finding new images presenting themselves--like a development of mercilessness exercise that evokes the Dr. Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle's enunciation scene from My Fair Lady:
Mercy! Please have mercy! I beg you!
No! [Hands over ears.] I can't hear you! La...la...la...la
"Maawa kayo sa amin. Huwag ninyo kaming patayin!"
[Silence. Stare.]
Very good. Cut. Next...


Diigo, April 18, 1995, The Manila Standard, page 3, Abu Sayyaf men execute 14 hostages, by Rudy Saavedra,

Abu Sayyaf guerillas brutally killed 14 of their civilian hostages on Friday in an island off Tungawan, Zamboanga del Sur as the captives begged for their lives, a critically wounded hostage who miraculously survived the carnage told reporters here.. Restituto Segundino, 24, who was snatched April 6 by fleeing Muslim bandits that pillaged Ipil yown two weeks ago, told newsmen from his hospital bed that his fellow hostages were hacked to death by their captors after telling them "we'll set you free."

Segundino, a farmer, sustained 13 hack wounds from his neck down to his buttocks was rescued by pursuing troops of the Army's 9th Special Forces from among a  pile of six other slain hostages. "I was left for dead by the bandits," he told reporters at the AFP Southern Command hospital here. He said he was lucky to survive the carnage and thanked the soldiers who rescued him.

The lone survivor said the bandits ferried them (hostages) to Pina Island, off the town of Tungawan on Friday night and executed them the following day.

Plea

"Maawa kayo sa amin. Huwag ninyo kaming patayin," Segundino quoted some of his fellow hostages pleading minutes before they were savagely killed. Military officers led by Armed Forces Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Edgardo Batenga showed to newsmen a bladed weapon locally known as barong similar yo what was used by the bandits in the massacre.
Government troops recovered on Sunday morning six of the slain hostages in an advance state of decomposition and ferried the bodies to this city on board two Air Force Huey helicopters.

Earlier, the bandit group killed six of their captives as government troops backed up by helicopter gunships closed in on them at barangay Sto. Roserio, R.T. Lim, Zamboanga del Sur last April 7.

"They (Abu Sayyaf) have already killed 12 hostages," Batenga told reporters after the recovery of six more bodies on Sunday. He added the terrorist group is holding six more civilian hostages. But hopes to recover them alive dimmed yesterday after Saturnino claimed the bandits executed mercilessly the remaining hostages.

"This is how savage they (Abu Sayyaf) are. I could not see any motive why they have to kill their innocent and helpless hostages," Batenga said. Earlier the military said the captives were being used as human shields by the terrorists as they fled to the mountains to elude pursuing government troops.

Of the six bodies recovered on Sunday, only one was identidied as that of Victorino Aballe, village chief ofTiayon, Ipil, Zamboanga del Sur while the five others remain unidentified.

The bodies of the six slain hostages were badly mutilated with one victim decapitated. The terrorists earlier killed Patricio Gregorio of Barangay Maasin, Ipil; Ernesto Arances of Barangay Dona Josefa, Ipil; Ernesto Revantad also of Barangay Maasin; Romulo Assister who was hacked to death on April 7; Timoteo Batoto, 51, who was killed on April 10, five days after he was abducted at Barangay Candis, R.T. Limtown and Anna maria Dequilla, 18.

Escape

Thirty-two other hostages were able to escape their captors amidst the exchange of gunfire between pursuing soldiers and the terrorists.

Also on Sunday, two helicopter gunships pounded Pina Island with rockets and machinegun fire killing six of the over 100 bandits that were able to slip through a military cordon at Tungawan mainland.

In the afternoon of the same day, two more terrorists on board motorized outriggers were slain after a brief gunbattle with Marine troopers off Sacol island, east of this city, military reports disclosed.

Batenga said that the military has accounted for 42 terrorists killed in a series of gunbattles and airstrikes launched by Southern Command after the Abu Sayyaf guerillas raided and looted the Christian-dominated town of Ipil last April 4 which left 53 people dead.

Batenga also claimed that government troops captured another suspected member of the terrorist group in Tungawan on Good Friday, bringing to five the number of captured bandits under military custody now.

Basug was picked up by military intelligence operatives in Tungawan on suspicion he is "a sympathizer/follower of the Abu Sayyaf." Batenga confirmed the arrest of Basug and said the military is trying to ascertain his participation in the Ipil attack.

But Basug's wife Vilma, told reporters here that her husband is not a Muslim extremist but a candidate for councilor in the municipality of Tungawan running under the KBL-PMP ticket. She said she will press the military to free her husband through the Commission on Human Rights.




Friday, January 04, 2013

Bin Laden Funds Abu Sayyaf Through Muslim Relief Group,

August 9, 2000, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Bin Laden funds Abu Sayyaf through Muslim relief group, Pt.1, Christine Herrera,








August 9, 2000, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Pg. 1, Bin Laden Funds Abu Sayyaf Through Muslim Relief Group, by Christine Herrera,


A MUSLIM relief organization is a conduit for funds to the Abu Sayyaf from Saudi billionaire, Osama Bin Laden, the US Public Enemy No. 1, and his brother-in-law, Mohammad Jamal Khalifa.

This was confirmed to the INQUIRER in Davao City by a former member of the original Abu Sayyaf group, who uses the nom de guerre Abu Anzar.

Anzar's disclosure is supported by police and military intelligence reports that state Bin Laden and Khalifa in 1992 set up the International Islamic Relief Organization Inc. (IIRO) with offices in Makati and in several cities in Mindanao as a front organization for funding terrorist activities.

The IIRO, according to the intelligence report, was working under the Muslim World League, an organization wholly financed by the Saudi Arabia government.

"The IIRO which claims to be a relief institution is being utilized by foreign extremists as a pipeline through which funding for the local extremists is being coursed," the intelligence report noted. Bin Laden has used his personal fortune to finance terrorist activities all over the world. US authorities had fingered Bin Laden as the mastermind of the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998 which killed 257 persons and wounded more than 5,000.

Though Khalifa has denied involvement in Bin Laden's activities, he had admitted "very close ties in the past." The second of Khalifa's four wives is the sister of Bin Laden.

Through Khalifa, who lived in the country for nine years, a Stratfor intelligence report said that "Bin Laden's network is already deeply entrenched in the Philippines."

Education

It was the MWL-IIRO that established the Al-Makdhum University in Zamboanga City which started accepting Islamic students in 1992, the intelligence report said.

According to the report, the IIRO also offers scholarship to qualified students who have the potential to be Islamic scholars. They then are tasked to indoctrinate other Muslims on terrorist tactics.

In an interview with the INQUIRER, Anzar said the IIRO was used by Bin Laden and Khalifa to distribute funds for the purchase of arms and other logistical requirements of the Abu Sayyaf in the guise of relief and livelihood projects for Muslim communities in Mindanao.

"Only 10 to 30 percent of the foreign funding goes to the legitimate relief and livelihood projects and the rest go to terrorist operations," Anzar added.

"The IIRO was behind the construction of mosques, school buildings and other livelihood projects in areas penetrated, highly influenced and controlled by the Abu Sayyaf," Anzar said.

The IIRO provides a steady supply of clothing, canned goods, rice and other necessities to impoverished Muslim communities.

"Bin Laden and Khalifa saw that the Muslim people needed help but he wanted immediate results, which he could not expect from the MILF. So he founded and funded the Abu Sayyaf, the Muslims' terrorist arm," he explained

Al Haj Murad, MILF vice chair for military affairs, had confirmed to the INQUIRER two years ago that Bin Laden and Khalifa provided "help and assistance" to MILF cadres who volunteered in the 1980s to help the Taliban struggle against the Soviet-backed Afghanistan government.

Original Abu

The original Abu Sayyaf was headed by Aburajak Abubakr Janjalani and another faction was led by Galib Andang, aka Commander Robot, who broke away from the Moro National Liberation Front after the formation of the Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development under former Moro National Liberation Front chief Nur Misuari.

Anzar said Bin Laden and Khalifa financed the urban warfare and terrorism training in Libya of their recruits to the Abu Sayyaf, including Janjalani and Edwin Angeles, the founding Abu Sayyaf vice commander and intelligence chief.

It was Angeles who recruited Anzar to the Abu Sayyaf. After undergoing advanced Islamic studies, Anzar became the group's liaison officer and Angeles' right-hand man.

When Angeles returned from Libya, he allegedly carried out the bombing of the Jolo Cathedral in Sulu in 1991.

Bin Laden and Khalifa also funded the three-month commando training course of the recruited Abu Sayyaf members in March 1993 in Patikul, Sulu, Anzar recounted. Khalifa served as one of the advisers of the Abu Sayyaf, the intelligence report noted, which was also confirmed by Anzar.

Records show the IIRO, a non-stock, non-profit organization, was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Sept. 20, 1991 with Khalifa as president and chair of the board of trustees.

Based on the SEC documents obtained by the INQUIRER, the IIRO's primary objectives are:

* To provide humanitarian services which will develop and elevate the educational, social and health aspects among the communities in the Philippines.

* To assist victims of natural and man-made calamities in the Philippines by giving financial assistance and relief goods, clothing, etc.

* To own, acquire, purchase, lease, sell, convey, transfer and establish orphanage centers, mosques, machinery equipment.

* To accept donations and contributions from national and foreign sources.

* Other incidental purposes not mentioned above.

The IIRO is expected to exist for 50 years from and after the date of incorporation in 1991.

Anzar said it was the objective "other incidental purposes not mentioned above" that became the priority of Bin Laden and Khalifa's group.

Asked why Bin Laden and Khalifa were supporting the Moro terrorists, Anzar said: "Any Muslim community that the Philippine government wanted to control got help."

"Bin Laden and Khalifa knew the Muslim people are no match for the resources and logistics of the Philippine government. So they decided to pour in funds to help us through the IIRO. It's a legal bank-to-bank transaction and a legitimate relief organization but the bulk of the funds go to terrorist operations," Anzar said.

"Based on our doctrine that Bin Laden and Khalifa share, if you are a Muslim, you are obliged to help reach your goal-to establish an Islamic state-even by force," he stressed.

He explained that if the Muslim could not personally engage in combat, he or she could help through spiritual or material aspects.

"Spiritual help means we pray for the success of the operations and material is logistics," he said.

"In the case of Bin Laden and Khalifa, they are not combatants, so they give material support. Money. Lots of money," Anzar explained.

The money was used, he said, primarily to create chaos and embarrass the Manila government.

"See, if there are bombings, kidnappings and killings, there will be no peace and development. Local and foreign investors would not come to Mindanao. That's what we want. They should not invade our place. Mindanao is ours. How come other non-Muslim people reign here? We are the ones who are hungry; we are on the run; we have no livelihood," Anzar said.

"Bin Laden, Khalifa and other foreign Muslim terrorists share that so they help us turn away the invaders, including the government. We don't need the Philippine government here. We want our own Muslim government."

Bin Laden and Khalifa generously provided the funds for the terrorist acts of the Abu Sayyaf and they had no complaints, he said.

"Whether the money was used for bombings, kidnappings, Bin Laden and Khalifa did not complain, for as long as the objective-to fight and prevail upon the government-was reached," he said.

Support for Robot

He said the original Abu Sayyaf members supported Commander Robot's kidnapping of 31 mostly foreign nationals because it sent a strong message to the Philippine government and the foreign governments "not to mess with Muslim people in Mindanao."

From the multimillion-peso ransom raised by the Robot gang, "Bin Laden and Khalifa do not get a single centavo. They even give more," Anzar said.

This act of generosity, Anzar said, has lured more Muslims to join the Abu Sayyaf.

"There's plenty of money. For instance, we have a weeklong operation, we leave money to our families more than enough to spend for the month," he said. "For example, our families spend about P1,000 a week, we would be given five times that amount."

Anzar said this allowed the Abu Sayyaf to sustain their operations. The more they engaged in terrorism, the more financial support poured in from Bin Laden and Khalifa.

Anzar said even before Angeles was nabbed by the government (although the Abu Sayyaf believed he surrendered and turned against his comrades), Bin Laden and Khalifa started organizing another group-that of Commander Robot.

"So there would be no setback in terrorist operations," he said.

The financial support from Bin Laden continued even after Khalifa was arrested in Sta. Rita, California, on Dec. 26, 1994 and was detained by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation for using fake travel papers, he said.

He said Angeles was killed in January 1999, a month after Janjalani was killed by government troops on Dec. 18, 1998.

"Janjalani's relatives believed it was Angeles who had Janjalani killed so he was also killed by the relatives," he said.

"The (original) group broke up. We had contacts with Commander Robot. We are still armed up to now. But we'd rather do our own thing. Preferably lie low, now that the government is going after the original members," he said.

Anzar said he surfaced to tell his story to the INQUIRER that the Abu Sayyaf are proud to be called terrorists. (Tomorrow, Khalifa's own terrorist network. And who's the Cabinet official listed as a board member of the IIRO foundation?)

______________________________________________________________________

Cruz-Araneta, Gemma.

August 10, 2000, Philippine Daily Inquirer, page A1, Gemma linked to group funding Sayyaf, MILF, by Christine Herrera, [cont. page A16]

August 10, 2000, Philippine Daily Inquirer, page A1, Gemma: 'How desperate can they get'











August 10, 2000, PDI, Gemma linked to Bin Laden group funding Sayyaf, MILF By Christine Herrera

(Last of two parts)

TOURISM Secretary Gemma Cruz-Araneta has been linked to a Muslim relief organization allegedly being used by accused international terrorists Osama bin Laden and his brother-in-law Mohammad Jamal Khalifa as a front to finance the operations of the Abu Sayyaf and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The information was disclosed to the INQUIRER by a former member of the original Abu Sayyaf group, who uses the nom de guerre Abu Anzar.

Anzar was the Abu Sayyaf liaison officer and right-hand man of the late Edwin Angeles, one of the Abu Sayyaf founders who was its vice commander and chief intelligence officer.

Araneta served as board member and treasurer of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) which works under the Muslim World League.

Based on IIRO documents at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Khalifa and Araneta were among the five incorporators who signed the documents of registration. Araneta appears to be the only non-Muslim in the group. Besides Khalifa, the others are Zakaria M. Shikh, a Jordanian; Abubakar Sharifada, a Filipino and Alice Yabo, aka Jameelah, a Filipino and believed to be Khalifa's wife.

The IIRO was registered with the SEC on Sept. 20, 1991. It has a life of 50 years from the date of incorporation. To date, the SEC documents on IIRO lists Araneta as the treasurer.

Khalifa was IIRO's president and chair of the board of trustees. Bin Laden was its main financier, according to police and military intelligence reports.

As treasurer, Araneta was tasked ''to act as such until her successor is duly elected and qualified in accordance with the by-laws, and that as such, she has been authorized to receive for and in the name and for the benefit of the association, all contributions or donations paid or given by the members,'' according to the reports.

Typo error

Araneta used her maiden name, Gemma Cruz, in the document. But Araneta's middle initial in the document is C., thus, Gemma C. Cruz, instead of G. for Guerrero, which is her mother's surname.

Anzar attributed the mistake to a mere typographical error.

''The error was typographical. She cannot deny that she and Khalifa were together when they went to Mindanao in October 1993 and again in June 1994,'' Anzar told the INQUIRER in an interview.

''I should know. I acted as their security escort,'' he said.

Documents obtained by the INQUIRER confirmed that Khalifa was indeed in the country during the dates mentioned by Aznar.

Khalifa was issued passport numbers 024632 on Oct. 16, 1992 in Manila and AZ215927 on Jan. 29, 1994 in Jeddah, the intelligence reports noted.

2 meetings

According to Anzar, he fetched Araneta and Khalifa from General Santos City and brought them to visit the mosques, buildings and schools in Sirawan in Toril District in Davao City in October 1993. The projects were funded by the IIRO.

''It's impossible for Gemma Cruz not to know because the Muslim communities know,'' Anzar said. ''To the Muslim communities, Khalifa is not only philanthropist but an international terrorist. So Muslims have high regard for him.''

Khalifa, without naming Araneta, introduced her to the communities as the one who managed the IIRO's finances, Anzar said.

Eyebrows

In his first encounter with Araneta, Angeles introduced her to Anzar as the former Miss Philippines.

''I didn't ask the name because it was a no-no in our group. You just wait to be told, otherwise you would be mistaken as a government deep penetration agent,'' Anzar said.

She described Araneta as pretty, chinky-eyed and ''very tall.''

When showed recent photos of several former Miss Philippines, Anzar examined the photos and pointed to Araneta's photo as the woman he saw in 1993 and 1994 with Khalifa.

''This is Gemma Cruz. I could never forget her eyebrows,'' he said. ''But she was prettier and younger in 1993 and 1994. She even had long hair.''

But in their second meeting in Zamboanga City in early June 1994, Anzar said, Angeles introduced her to him as Gemma Cruz.

He said he was surprised to see Araneta wearing a Muslim dress that prompted him to ask Angeles whether she was a Muslim.

''Bro (brother), yang babaeng yan, may balak mag-balik-Islam. Yan ang dating Miss Philippines, si Gemma Cruz,'' Anzar quoted Angeles as having told him.

He explained that the ''balik-Islam'' was the term used when someone was converting to Islam.

''The visit was Bin Laden's and Khalifa's way of telling the Muslim communities highly influenced and penetrated by the Abu Sayyaf that the people got help because they support the cause of the Abu Sayyaf,'' Anzar said.

''They do the same in MILF-controlled areas,'' he added.

Though it set up livelihood projects, built mosques and schools and provided for the basic needs of impoverished Muslim communities, the IIRO also provided funds for the purchase of arms and other logistical requirements of the Abu Sayyaf, Anzar said.

In fact, he said, only 10 to 30 percent of the funds coursed through the IIRO went to the charity projects. ''The bulk of the fund goes to terrorist operations of the Abu Sayyaf and the MILF. We have not lost contact with the MILF. We even coordinate with them. So we know they also get financial support from the IIRO.''

He said the Muslim communities were aware that Khalifa and Bin Laden were ''international terrorists and the projects were part of their agenda to win the hearts and minds of the Muslims.''

Wali Khan Amin Shah, one of the conspirators convicted in 1996 for his role in a plot to blow up US planes, told authorities that a Muslim charity run by Khalifa and backed by Bin Laden had financed the plot, according to US and Philippine intelligence reports.

Now believed to be hiding out in Afghanistan, Bin Laden, the youngest son of a Saudi construction magnate, is wanted by the United States for allegedly masterminding the attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 which killed 224 people.

Khalifa was arrested in Sta. Rita, California, on Dec. 26, 1994 and was detained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for using fake travel papers. His alleged ties to terrorist activities became evident on Jan. 6, 1995 when the police raided an apartment in Manila shared by Ramzi Yousef and Abdul Hakim Murad, both of whom were later convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York.

Khalifa was a frequent visitor here where he owned a rattan furniture factory on top of working with the IIRO.

________________________________________________________________________________

August 10, 2000, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Gemma: 'How desperate can they get',

"WOW, of course not. Some people are really after my position. They wanted to get rid of me. How desperate can they get."

Thus, the reaction of Tourism Secretary Gemma Cruz-Araneta to reports linking her to the international terrorists, the Abu Sayyaf and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Although Araneta admitted it crossed her mind that she would be linked to the terrorists and the Muslim rebels after President Estrada disclosed during a Cabinet meeting the other day that over 50 government officials were suspected of aiding Muslim rebels, she vehemently denied she had anything to do with it.

In an interview with the INQUIRER over the phone, Araneta said she knew neither Saudi billionaire Osama Bin Laden nor his brother-in-law Mohammad Jamal Khalifa.

Neither was she involved in the operations, legitimate or not, of the International Islamic Relief Organization Inc., she said.

Araneta said she had no reason to go to Mindanao in the 1990s. In fact, the last time she went to Zamboanga City was in 1968, she said.

She went back to Mindanao only when she became tourism secretary because of the government's tourism projects, she said.

Araneta said she came back to the Philippines in 1990 but that she regularly went to Mexico every two months.

If there was anything that could link her to Muslims, she said, it was merely "sartorial." "It's because I wear malong," she said.

Besides, she said, she was sympathetic to "our Muslim brothers and sisters and why would they fault me on that."

Araneta said the former Abu Sayyaf member (Anzar) who allegedly saw her in Davao and Zamboanga cities, could have just pointed to her being a former Miss Philippines because she was tall.

"Baka naman si Margie Moran yan," she said.

Told that Anzar insisted he could not forget her face, particularly her eyebrows, Araneta laughed out loud. "Kilala ko na yan pag kilay ko na ang pinag-uusapan," she said.

But Araneta refused to name names as to who was behind what she described as a "demolition job" against her.

"I have a short list of people who wanted my position so desperately. They make me appear incompetent and corrupt but none has stuck so far," she stressed.

"It looks so coincidental. See, I really expected that they would link me to Muslim rebels. It really crossed my mind after hearing the President, that they would demolish me and use it as an issue against me. Na ako yung isa sa 50 officials (aiding Moro rebels)," Araneta said.

"If they would give me that notoriety, fine with me. It would not stick anyway because it's not true," she said.





See also:
July 31, 2000, Speech, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, Philippine Senate, Treasonous Handling of the Abu Sayyaf,
August 3, 2000, Inquirer, Abu Sayyaf ransom now totals P173M, says solon,
August 8, 2000, ABS-CBN, Abu Sayyaf gained P245m from kidnapping,
August 9, 2000, Sydney Morning Herald, Bin Laden 'funding rebels via charity',
August 9, 2000, The Straits Times, $9.7m paid to Jolo rebels, [Text]
August 10, 2000, The Straits Times,"Bad rebels" turn rich, [Text]
August 10, 2000, The Straits Times,Osama gave funds to Abu Sayyaf: Manila, [Text]
August 10, 2000, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Gov't offers P5M for Salamat's head, by Carlito Pablo,
August 10, 2000, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Legislator says another anti-Estrada group formed, Martin Marfil, Donna Cueto,
August 10, 2000, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Source says some groups took cuts on P9-M payoff, by Donna S. Cueto,