Excerpt from the SPYBITS By Babe G. Romualdez in the Philippine Star (Feb 17): Blaming Americans will set back peace process
The so-called WikiLeaks cables purportedly revealing US involvement in the botched PNP Special Action Force operation in Mamasapano that resulted in the death of 44 SAF troopers is clearly being manufactured by leftists to shift the blame on a foreign government, a retired intelligence analyst informed Spy Bits. Certain groups known for being anti-US are using the opportunity to do some finger pointing of their own, claiming that the US has been funding the country’s counter-terrorism efforts against extremist groups that include the Jemaah Islamiyah and other al-Qaeda linked terror groups.
No such thing, our sources from the intelligence community said, telling us that American involvement in the Mamasapano tragedy was limited to sharing intelligence information – something that they also do with other countries that are waging war against extremists. The Mamasapano operation was launched to arrest Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir a.k.a. Marwan, an expert bomb maker who is believed responsible for numerous bombings in the Philippines.
Marwan belongs to a family of terrorists, with a brother now jailed in Indonesia while one is detained in a prison facility in the US. After the Bali bombing, Marwan hid in Mindanao, training local and foreign militant groups about bomb making – with Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters member Basit Usman (who evaded arrest in Mamasapano but was reportedly seriously wounded and is now in hiding) as one of his top students.
Aside from the US, other countries have been exchanging intel information with the Philippines to enhance counter-terrorism efforts, including Australia that was also after Marwan’s head because of the 2002 bombing in Bali, Indonesia where over 200 people were killed, most of them Australian tourists. In fact, intelligence sharing between countries is being heightened to counter the creeping influence of ISIS, with jihadists spreading out to target countries after obtaining training in Syria and Iraq.
A lot of Filipinos are actually relieved that the US is helping the Philippines in the fight against terrorism by way of training for Filipino troops and in the use of sophisticated technology. It was with the help of US intelligence and technology that the Philippine military was able to pinpoint Abu Sayyaf strongholds, resulting in the rescue of hostages and the capture of Ghalib Andang alias Commander Robot in 2002.
But to claim that the Americans orchestrated and directed the operation in Mamasapano is simply ridiculous, the intelligence source emphatically said, adding that putting the blame on the US will set back the peace process and the passage of the BBL. No US drones were used contrary to the claims of so-called witnesses – unless the PNP now has its own drones, the source said.......