From: Otis Willie
Subject: FBI Agents Arrive in Philippines
Organization: The American War Library
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sat, 05 Oct 2002 14:52:34 EDT
Date: Sat, 05 Oct 2002 18:52:34 GMT
FBI Agents Arrive in Philippines
(EXCERPT) Fri Oct 4,12:03 PM ET, by AARON FAVILA, Associated Press
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines (AP) - FBI ( news - web sites) agents arrived
in the southern Philippines on Friday to investigate a bomb attack
that killed three people, including an American Green Beret.
Philippine military officials blamed the Muslim extremist group Abu
Sayyaf for Wednesday's blast, which injured 24 people. They said the
explosives were similar to those found in an unexploded bomb believed
to have been planted by the guerillas on nearby Jolo Island in August.
National Security Adviser Roilo Golez said in a television interview
that U.S. authorities were helping in identifying the type of bomb to
determine if it contained a "signature" that could lead to any
FBI agents examined the blast site Friday, taking photographs,
collecting evidence and trying to piece together the charred parts of
the motorcycle in which the nail-laden bomb was stashed.
Gen. Ernesto Carolina, head of the Philippine military's Southern
Command in Zamboanga, said "all evidence points to the Abu Sayyaf as
the perpetrators of this senseless bombing."
The driver of the motorcycle was identified as an Abu Sayyaf member
from a sketch based on witness accounts and his body. Police
originally said the man had been killed, but later Chief Inspector
Jose Bayani Gucela said the man left the area before the explosion.
Abu Sayyaf, which has been linked to the al-Qaida terror network,
warned last week it would mount attacks on civilian, military and U.S.
targets in the Philippines to retaliate an ongoing government
offensive against Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines.
The body of slain American Green Beret, Sgt. 1st Class Mark Wayne
Jackson, 40, of Glennie, Mich., was flown Thursday to Okinawa, Japan,
along with another U.S. soldier injured in the blast. Jackson was
assigned to the 1st Special Forces Group, at Fort Lewis, Wash.
The Green Berets, based across the street from the blast site at Camp
Enrile, were part of a U.S. contingent of about 260 personnel deployed
in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, which has helped train the
Philippine military to fight the Abu Sayyaf.
A total of 272 American soldiers remain in the Philippines since the
bulk of a 1,200-strong contingent began withdrawing after a
counterterrorism exercise ended July 31.
Some U.S. troops have stayed on at Camp Enrile, and 250 others at the
Southern Command base, about two miles away, working on security
assistance and humanitarian programs.
U.S. military support helped Filipino troops decimate the Abu Sayyaf
with a months-long offensive over the summer on Basilan but is now
fighting an Abu Sayyaf faction on another island nearby, Sulu.
Abu Sayyaf guerrillas seized 102 hostages, including three Americans,
in a yearlong kidnapping spree. In a bloody army rescue attempt,
American missionary Martin Burnham and Filipino nurse Ediborah Yap
were killed, while Burnham's wife, Gracia, was wounded but
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