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Plan to arrest Marwan in MILF camp set with FBI in 2014–ex-cop

/ 06:21 PM January 29, 2015

COTABATO CITY, Philippines—In a meeting held at the headquarters of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) police in Parang, Maguindanao, sometime in September 2014, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and ranking police officials planned a secret operation aimed at getting a notorious international terrorist, a source who declined to be identified told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The source said the target was on Washington’s list of priority terrorists: Malaysian Zulkifli Bin Hir alias Marwan, with a bounty of $5 million.

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The Inquirer source, a former ranking police official in Central Mindanao, claimed that during the meeting, which he attended, the US agents shared an intelligence report on the exact whereabouts of the two terrorists.

The source said the Americans were certain about their intelligence data because it was provided by a mole from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

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“They were paid cash in exchange for the information,” the source said.

The source said the US agents validated the information relayed to them by their mole through the use of “drones and global positioning system.”

“We can even see the hideout of their target,” he said.

During the meeting, it was decided that those involved in the operation would not share information with any other government agencies “to prevent a leak of the plan.”

“They will only coordinate with other government troops—posted along the highway—on their way to their mission,” he added.

However, the source said the glaring failure on the part of the policemen that went to Barangay Tukanalipao, a known controlled village of the MILF in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao, was that they had no back-up hardware and reinforcement.

Capt. Jo-anne Petinglay, spokesperson of the military’s 6th Infantry Division, admitted that US forces “come and go.”

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“They are based in Manila and Zamboanga. We don’t have US troops (based) here (in Maguindanao),” she said.

As to the alleged involvement of US troops in the operation, Petinglay said she was not aware of it.

She said what she knew was that US forces indeed help extract the injured SAF personnel through the use of a helicopter.

The Inquirer saw this particular helicopter, a white and green aircraft, manned by four US forces.

In Davao City, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Southern Mindanao said it wanted to know the role of the US military in the police operation.

Bayan spokesperson Sheena Duazo said the Mamasapano operation that led to the bloodshed was possibly a joint covert-operation with the US.

“The unfortunate members of the police operation seem to be victims of the latest US-directed antiterror operation that is sanctioned by the President Aquino’s government,” she said.

“We want to know what really happened, and why US soldiers are seen with the dead bodies of the PNP-SAF. Are they here just to help the wounded and carry the dead, or is this another one of their botched operations, similar to many of their operations in the Middle East? Is this another case of an imperialist country providing a pretext for its further involvement in local conflict, even if it means deaths to our fellow Filipinos?” Duazo asked.

Duazo said the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement have ushered in “increasing US military intervention in the Philippines.”

“The 6,000 or so US troops currently deployed in Mindanao may be doing more things on the island that the Filipino public have no knowledge of. President Aquino’s government owes the public (an explanation),” she added. With a report from Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: 6th Infantry Division, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Crime, EDCA, Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI, Global Nation, intelligence, intelligence sharing, Jo-anne Petinglay, Justice, law, law enforcement, Manhunt, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Philippine Army, pursuit operations, Sheena Duazo, suspected terrorists, terror suspects, VFA, Visiting Forces Agreement, War on terror, Zulkifli bin Hir
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