Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Philippines top counter terror Cop ties up with UK Metro Police

Philippine Police Counter Terrorism expert Gen. Avelino Razon; is headed to London for a week to work with two other senior officers - and his UK counterparts in developing common tactics and sharing of information in the fight versus terrorism and continued skills training in counter crime techniques.

The cross training will show I hope that the British will also have a lot to learn as well;

landings 7/7 terror bombings and the series of bombings here are linked experts in Singapore and Malaysia say as the same bomb maker who taught JI trainers in bomb making techniques in both Indonesia and the Philippines also provided designs for the London weapons.

Much of the information was gathered in the post-mortem investigations based on computer downloads and file sharing traced to two of the suicide bombers computers and travel history of one of the London attackers who has visited the Southern Philippines and Eastern Indonesia.

Mohammed Sidique Khan; .... alleged to have to have met a terrorist called Hambali in 2001 after traveling to Malaysia. The allegation comes from an interview by Rohan Gunaratna, an academic researcher, with a man in custody in Indonesia on suspicion of being linked to a terrorist bombing. The detainee reportedly said he took Mohammed Sidique Khan to meet and train with leaders from the extremist Islamist group Jemaah Islamiah which is linked to al-Qaida in the Far East. - http://www.guardian.co.uk/attackonlondon/story/0,,1600825,00.html

The timing also of 7/7 attacks by groups tied to Al Qaeda is something that needs to be looked into more closely - "In July 2005, 37 people were killed while 700 others were injured after a series of explosions rocked the London transportation network."

Now at around the same time two similar bomb plots were foiled in the Philippines when a alert police raid seized bomb making gear and backpack bombs similar to those used in London and Madrid.

' In February 2005, eight people were killed while dozens were injured after simultaneous

bomb blasts rocked the cities of Makati, Davao, and General Santos."

Here two of the devices used matched weapons found in the trunk of Khan and another suicide bomber.

Looking at the images online they seem to easily resemble the bombs used by Dynamite fishermen in the southern Philippines and Indonesia. Packed tightly in bottles those devices were not used - or failed to detonate.

Weapons not used but found intact that bore design signatures of Jemaah Islamiah al qaeda's asian wing.

"A year before, over a hundred were killed after a bomb went off inside a passenger ferry off Manila Bay." -

the attack neatly coincided with two bombings in Pakistan and small attack in India and another set of bombing cases in Madrid Spain.

Sources close to both UK and Philippine intelligence both say Europe and Asia's- al qaeda factions seems to be reaching out to Asia more and more.

Early discoveries in 2002 after a raid on a home in Ulster resulted in the breakup of a cell of money forwarders believed to have ties to small Biological warfare and bomb testing and trains center test lab found in cotabato city and a cell phone shop in Japan outside the Yokahama US Naval base.

Now newer intelligence seems to lead investigators to more skill and technology transfers between the loose groups, while so far vigilance has kept so far both regions out of the attack cycle with most of the groups efforts focused in Iraq.

Philippine, UK, and Indonesian police intelligence and cooperation sharing is needed to prevent future attacks. Gen. Razon, who headed a team that tracked down and arrested convicted world trade center bomber Ramzi Youssef and gathered the first working intelligence on Al Qaeda is seen as perhaps one of the foremost authorities - whose 1996 warning in testimony in court of a 9-11 like plot was laughed off by the US (White House, CIA, and, FBI) counter terrorism officials Razon, has a habit of being ahead of the curve.

I hope the British listen well to him - America ignored a lot of his advice - including warnings about specific 9-11 like plots - his office issued 'alerts' to US authorities in 1996,1997,1998 and in 2000 about the hi-jacking based plots.

He and his team are perhaps part of a handful of people who foretold of many attacks and was ignored - the latest warnings raised by his old unit are alarming to say the least.

that will be the subject of a future blog.

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