Sep 162014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2010/02/10MANILA370.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10MANILA370
2010-02-22 08:53
2011-08-30 01:44
SECRET//NOFORN
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO9326
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0370/01 0530853
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 220853Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6670
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 000370

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/21/2030
TAGS: PTER PREL MARR MOPS KCRM RP
SUBJECT: SENIOR ABU SAYYAF GROUP LEADER BELIEVED KILLED ON JOLO

REF: 09 MANILA 0902 (RED CROSS KIDNAPPING)

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Leslie A. Bassett, Reasons
1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (S/NF) SUMMARY: On February 21, six members of the
terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed in a battle with
the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Jolo Island
including, we believe, the prominent ASG sub-commander
Albader Parad. If Parad’s death is confirmed, it would be a
significant blow to a terrorist group responsible for
numerous attacks and the deaths of American citizens. The
U.S. Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines
(JSOTF-P) assisted the AFP operation with intelligence,
surveillance, and reconnaissance support. Separately, on
February 18 in Manila, an ASG member believed to have
participated in a brutal 2001 kidnapping of American citizens
was arrested by Philippine authorities. End summary.

Background
———-

¶2. (S/NF) The ASG, a designated terrorist group with
historical ties to Al-Qaeda, is known for its kidnappings and
brutality. Among other attacks, the ASG carried out the 2004
bombing of the ship “Superferry 14” in Manila Bay, killing
116 people. A 2001 ASG kidnapping operation resulted in the
deaths of two U.S. citizens: Guillermo Sobero was beheaded
by his captors and Martin Burnham was killed during a rescue
attempt by the AFP. Founded in the 1990s by
Afghanistan-trained Filipino Abdurajak Janjalani, the ASG is
considered the most radical Filipino Muslim extremist group.
Consistent pressure from the AFP and Philippine National
Police, assisted by JSOTF-P’s support, has significantly
reduced the ASG’s membership and effectiveness. While
estimates vary, the terrorist group, which operates
principally on the islands of Jolo and Basilan, is believed
to draw on approximately 250 armed members (although fully
dedicated fighters may number only 50). Regardless of size,
the ASG remains an active terrorist organization, engaging in
regular deadly skirmishes with the AFP and kidnapping three
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) employees in
2009 (Ref A). Most recently, ASG members kidnapped and
beheaded a school principal whose family was unable to pay
ransom. The group on occasion provides protection to senior
members of the Southeast Asian terrorist group Jemaah
Islamiyah who are located in the Philippines and are
associated with major terrorist attacks in Indonesia
including the 2002 Bali bombing.

AFP Operation Nets Terrorists with U.S. Assistance
——————————————— —–

¶3. (S/NF) On the evening of February 20, AFP Marines
initiated Operation Bagong Buwan II in the vicinity of Mount
Tukay, Jolo Island. At 11:30 p.m. local time, the AFP made
contact with what was believed to be an ASG security element
near a terrorist encampment. At dawn on February 21, the AFP
initiated a raid, exchanging small arms fire and launching
several volleys of mortars at enemy positions. Six ASG
members were killed, while the AFP suffered one killed and
three injured.

¶4. (S/NF) In a private conversation, the AFP directly
credited JSOTF-P for providing the ISR (intelligence,
surveillance, and reconnaissance) support which identified
the ASG members moving toward an AFP element, thereby
allowing them to remain in position and prepare for combat.
A JSOTF-P Field Surgical Team also assisted with the
evaluation of the AFP casualties, all of whom are expected to
make full recoveries. (Note: The role played by U.S.
personnel should not be publicly disclosed, given Philippine
political sensitivities.)

ASG Commander Albader Parad
—————————

¶5. (S/NF) Albader Parad is a senior ASG commander for whose
capture or death the U.S. Department of Defense rewards
programs offers compensation of US$80,000 (larger rewards are
offered for only five of the terrorist group’s other
leaders). Parad is believed to have masterminded the January
2009 kidnapping on Jolo of three ICRC members. The AFP has
stated publicly that Parad was one of the ASG killed on
February 21, and there is cause for optimism. Four sources

MANILA 00000370 002 OF 002

have visually identified Parad, and his family has contacted
the AFP to request that his body be turned over to them.
Further analysis and DNA testing will be required to
positively identify the six ASG members. At the request of
Philippine authorities, the U.S. is assisting with this
effort.

ASG Member Arrested in Manila
—————————–

¶6. (U) Separately, on February 18 in Manila, Philippine
authorities arrested Jumadail Arad, a rank-and-file member of
the ASG. Arad is believed have been the driver of the
speedboat used in the 2001 Sobero/Burnham kidnapping that
resulted in the deaths of two American citizens. Arad was
arrested at the Manila seaport as he was boarding a ferry
bound for the island of Mindanao.

Comment
——-

¶7. (S/NF) If confirmed, Parad’s death would represent a
significant blow to the Abu Sayyaf Group. Following the
capture in the past year of Jemaah Islamiyah facilitator Omar
Venancio and Rajah Solaiman Movement leader Dinno-Amar
Pareja, Parad’s death suggests that the Arroyo
administration’s strategy of targeting terrorists while
simultaneously pursuing peace negotiations with Moro Islamic
Liberation Front insurgents appears to be succeeding. This
latest victory is particularly welcome in light of the
distractions the Philippine Government faces with the state
of emergency in Maguindanao province and the ongoing
preparations for national elections in May.
BASSETT

   

 

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