With the big bombing in Pakistan, the bombing of the Glorietta Mall in Makati, Manila hasn’t gotten much press outside the Philippines.
Another reason that the world press isn’t bothering to cover the bomb is because bombs are not that unusual here. Nearly every week there is a bomb explosion or unexploded bomb found, from terrorists or criminal blackmail (terrorists and criminals are often the same people).Â The last series of bombs in Manila was in the year 2000 and killed over twenty people.
But when the Indonesians cracked down on their terror jihadis, some, including some with sophisticated bomb making skills, fled to the Philippines and linked up with Abu Sayyaf.
Right now the ASG is on the run,Â but there is a worry that other jihadi groups have learned sophisticated bomb making from them.
There is a real worry is that local “reverts”, Christian Tagalog Filipinos who converted to Islam while working in Saudi Arabia, have been recruited into jihad. You see, the Moro ethnic group speaks a different language and acts differently, so could be identified, but local sophisticated Tagalog ethnics could indeed easily infiltrate malls and offices, either as visitors or as employees, and then bomb the place.
But who is funding the terror? Some of it comes from local crime, blackmail of businessmen, and of course kidnapping.
The latest spate of problems came as a result of the kidnapping of an Italian priest, Father Bossi, who was later released after the rumors reported a large ransom paid. At the time, I criticized the Vatican and Italians for being willing to fund killing of Philippine citizens to get one of their citizens free. (A similar scenerio is occuring in Afghanistan, where money used to free Korean nurses and teachers is funding attacks on NATO troops and Afghan citizens).
But another source of funding is thanks to the YouTube.
Several months ago, a sophisticated film highlighting the jihadi leaders from Abu Sayyaf was posted on YouTube asking for recruits and money. The Philippine military requested that the site pull the film, but the damage was done. StrategyPage reports:
The government believes a recent YouTube video, which was basically an appeal for donations for Abu Sayyaf, worked. A wealthy donor from the Persian Gulf is said to have sent Abu Sayyaf a large sum of money, which will enable to Abu Sayyaf to carry out more terrorist attacks in the Philippines. The U.S. and Arab Persian Gulf countries have increasingly been going after wealthy Arabs who donate large sums (often a million or more dollars) to Islamic charities that are actually conduits for funds going to Islamic terrorist groups.
Is the Makati bombings linked to or paid for money donated in response to the You Tube videos?
No, there is no proof. But the linkage is there…and if I were a lawyer, I would go to a court for the victims and sue the donor for causing the death of my loved ones.
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.Â