Sep 152014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/08/06MANILA3299.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA3299 2006-08-04 09:23 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHML #3299/01 2160923
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 040923Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2369
INFO RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//OSD/ISA/AP// IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 003299

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MTS
USPACOM ALSO FOR FPA HUSO
JOINT STAFF J5 (WILKES/ROBINSON/CLEMMONS)
OSD/ISA/AP (LAWLESS/TOOLAN/BAILEY)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/04/2016
TAGS: PTER MOPS MCAP PREL RP
SUBJECT: INITIAL SUCCESS IN ONGOING OPERATIONS AGAINST TERRORISTS

REF: MANILA 3218

Classified By: (U) Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Paul W. Jones
for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

¶1. (C) SUMMARY. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
operation to capture or kill senior terrorist leaders on the
island of Jolo, which began on August 1, has met with initial
success. One mid-level terrorist has been killed and the
senior leadership has been driven out of its safe havens.
Jemaah Islamiyah bombers Dulmatin and Umar Patek may have
fled into an area under the control of the Moro National
Liberation Front (MNLF). AFP forces are surrounding this
pocket and have begun negotiations with the MNLF for a joint
effort to cordon and search the area. The Ambassador and now
the Charge have been in close contact with GRP leaders, and
U.S. forces are providing extensive support on the ground.
The AFP appears determined and well coordinated, but the
terrain is extremely difficult and the terrorists are skilled
at evading capture. END SUMMARY.

INITIAL SUCCESS
—————

¶2. (C) “Operation Ultimatum,” the Armed Forces of the
Philippines effort to capture or kill senior Jemaah Islamiyah
(JI) and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists on the island of
Jolo, is now in its fourth day. The operation has succeeded
in its initial objective of driving Khadaffy Janjalani, Abu
Solaiman, Dulmatin, Umar Patek, and other terrorist leaders
from their safe havens in western Jolo, overrunning the
terrorist camps in the morning hours of August 1. Ismin
Sahiron, a mid-level ASG leader, appears to have been killed
in a fire fight with Philippine Marines. Four other ASG
operatives were intercepted by Philippine Naval Special
Warfare Units on August 3 as they attempted to flee the
island in a speedboat. They are now undergoing interrogation.

SHRINKING NET AROUND TERRORIST LEADERS
————————————–

¶3. (C) Dulmatin and Umar Patek may have fled into a
six-square kilometer area under Moro National Liberation
Front (MNLF) control. Janjalani and Abu Solaiman may be in
separate locations on Mount Tumatangas just outside this
area. The AFP is reinforcing its troops on the ground, and
slowly beginning to shrink the perimeter around the MNLF
zone. SOUTHCOM Deputy Commander for Operations BG Dolorfino
is in close contact with the senior MNLF leader on Jolo,
Kajid Ajibon, to avoid clashes between the MNLF and AFP, and
to discuss possible joint action to apprehend the terrorists.

DISCOVERY OF IED COMPONENTS
—————————

¶4. (C) Initial site exploitation of the terrorist camps
overrun by the AFP has revealed an extensive amount of
components and explosives similar to those used in the bomb
that killed five civilians and wounded 25 others in a Jolo
City market earlier this year. The AFP plans a public
display of the material as part of its anti-terrorism media
campaign.

AMBASSADOR IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH GRP
————————————

¶5. (C) Ambassador has been in close contact with Secretary
of Defense Cruz and National Security Advisor Gonzales
throughout the operation. Gonzales told Ambassador August 3
that the GRP would ask imprisoned MNLF leader Nur Misuari to
persuade his followers to seize the terrorists and turn them
over to the AFP. Charge is now continuing these contacts.

JSOTF AND US NAVY PROVIDING SUPPORT
———————————–

¶6. (C) Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines
(JSOTF-P) was extensively involved in preparing the AFP for
the operation, providing marksmanship, live fire and
maneuver, and small unit leadership training, as well as
planning assistance. JSOTF-P elements are currently advising
and assisting AFP counterparts and providing intelligence
fusion. At Philippine request under the just-signed Kapit
Bisig framework, the US Navy’s High Speed Vessel Joint

Venture transported an 80-man amphibious assault force from
its staging area in Zamboanga to its launch point just
off-shore northwest Jolo at the start of the operation. A US
Navy P-3 aircraft based at the Philippine Air Force Base of
Mactan, Cebu is providing intelligence and surveillance
support. A US helicopter evacuated two AFP wounded and the
remains of one casualty from Jolo to Zamboanga.

COMMENT
——-

¶7. (C) While the initial signs are encouraging, it is
important to manage expectations regarding this latest GRP
effort against the JI and ASG. The steep jungle terrain
favors individuals trying to hide or flee.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm
Jones

   

 

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