Sep 162014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/02/08MANILA426.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MANILA426
2008-02-19 09:36
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

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DE RUEHML #0426/01 0500936
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 190936Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9788
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 000426

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/19/2018
TAGS: KJUS MOPS PINS PTER RP
SUBJECT: POSSIBLE REMAINS OF TERRORIST DULMATIN RECOVERED

Classified By: Amb. Kristie A. Kenney, reasons 1.4 b, d.

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: The Philippine Armed Forces recovered a
cadaver February 18 that was reported by informants to be the
remains of Jemaah Islamiyah leader and Bali bombing
mastermind Dulmatin, one of the most wanted terrorists in the
Philippines, with up to a $10 million reward under the
Rewards for Justice. Although Dulmatin’s death has been
reported erroneously at least six times in the past, the
location of the corpse on the island of Tawi-Tawi in the area
of a January 31 firefight between Philippine joint military
forces and Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah elements has given
life to this particular report about Dulmatin’s demise. At
the request of the Philippine National Police, FBI agents are
assisting in the forensic examinations and in obtaining
samples for DNA analysis. FBI experts say identification of
the remains could take several weeks. Embassy press guidance
emphasizing Philippine leadership of counterterrorism
operations in Mindanao is provided in para. 7. Separately,
on February 17, Philippine combined forces scored a confirmed
hit against Jemaah Islamiyah when they arrested a significant
Indonesian Jemaah Islamiyah member Latif in the Davao
Oriental area of Mindanao. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (C) On February 18, a Philippine informant led troops
from the Philippine Marines and Military Intelligence Group
to a grave on Tawi-Tawi island in the Sulu Archipelago of the
southern Philippines, where the informant claimed Jemaah
Islamiyah terrorist leader Dulmatin (a.k.a. Amar Usman)was
buried. Dulmatin is suspected of masterminding the 2002
bombings in Bali, Indonesia, that killed 202 people,
including seven U.S. citizens. He is an electronics
specialist with training by al-Qa’ida in Afghanistan and a
senior member of the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist organization,
listed as wanted under the Rewards for Justice program for up
to $10 million.

¶3. (C) Dulmatin’s death has been reported to Philippine
authorities at least six times previously without
substantiation. However, the fresh grave and location of the
cadaver in an area of a recent firefight between Philippine
forces and combined Abu Sayaaf/Jemaah Islamiyah elements on
January 31 — in which witnesses reported Dulmatin injured —
and the physical wounds found on the cadaver that are similar
to those Dulmatin reportedly sustained in the firefight, have
raised Philippine expectations. Media carried a statement by
Marine Commandant Major General Benjamin Dolorfino that said:
“Based on the description of the informant, Dulmatin suffered
gunshots in the head, chest, and right foot and based on our
initial findings, the statement of the witness matched” with
the exhumed remains.

¶4. (C) At the request of Philippine authorities, U.S.
personnel are assisting in the investigation. The Philippine
Western Mindanao Command asked for assistance with
transporting the remains to Zamboanga, where Federal Bureau
of Investigation agents helped Philippine National Police in
the collection of DNA samples that will be sent to Manila for
comparison against samples on file there of DNA belonging to
Dulmatin’s children. A second set of samples is in FBI
custody and is available for processing at FBI’s Quantico
facility. FBI agents here estimate FBI processing and
comparison could take two to five weeks, while Philippine
authorities could finish the analysis in approximately two
weeks. At the same time, the Australian Federal Police have
contacted Embassy officials to express their interest in
conducting their own DNA analysis of the remains.

¶5. (C) Separately, on February 17, a joint Philippine
military operation dealt another blow to the Jemaah Islamiyah
network when authorities captured significant Indonesian
terrorist Latif (a.k.a. Salman) in the southeastern Mindanao
in the southern Philippines. Latif is a known associate of
wanted Jemaah Islamiyah Bali bomber Umar Patek and is thought
to have been hiding in the Philippines for more than three
years. In a coordinated and well-timed operation, Philippine
military forces captured Latif after quickly reacting to a
tip; significant evidence including computer equipment,
mobile phones, weapons, explosives, and training manuals were
found in his possession at the time of his arrest. They are
currently being exploited, and Latif is under interrogation.

¶6. (C) Comment: If the remains are indeed those of Dulmatin,
this will mark another major success for Philippine
antiterrorism efforts, which the government said have
resulted in the death or capture of 7 key terrorist leaders

MANILA 00000426 002 OF 002

and over 200 other terrorism suspects since August 2006,
including the deaths of leaders of the Abu Sayyaf Group
Khadaffy Janjalani and Abu Solaiman. Whatever the outcome of
the results from the DNA tests, it will be important to
ensure that the Philippine government has the opportunity to
announce the results first, given their command of the
antiterrorism efforts here.

¶7. (SBU) Embassy press guidance follows.

Q: Intelligence sources say that Filipino Marines located a
body on Tawi-Tawi that might be the corpse of senior Jemaah
Islamiya figure Dulmatin, whose delivery to justice carries a
reward. Can you confirm this?

We understand the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
located a corpse that may be Dulmatin,s. For further
information, I refer you to the AFP.

We applaud the efforts of the AFP to find international
terrorists whose presence in the Southern Philippines is a
source of ongoing violence and destruction that prevents
citizens from moving forward toward peace, prosperity, and
development

Q: Is the U.S. helping determine the body,s identity with
DNA testing?

The U.S. is currently assisting the Philippine Government in
doing the DNA testing.
KENNEY

   

 

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