A bomb ripped through a passenger bus Thursday in the southern Philippines, killing at least 10 people and wounding nine in an attack authorities say may have been carried out by an extortion gang with links to Muslim militants.So, what kind of Islamist terrorists could possibly be living in the Philippines?
The bus was traveling with more than 50 passengers when the powerful blast shook the rear of the vehicle from the overhead compartment, police Chief Superintendent Gil Meneses said. The force of the explosion was so strong it decapitated two of the victims, he said.
Ten people, including the bus conductor, died in the blast in Matalam township in North Cotabato province, said police spokeswoman Senior Inspector Joyce Birrey.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast.
The southern Philippines is home to kidnappers, extortion gangs and a decades-old Muslim insurgency.
The article gives some background:
Military spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said authorities suspect the Al-Khobar extortion gang in the attack, saying the bus company involved in the bombing had been targeted for extortion in the past.Moro Islamic Liberation Front?
Al-Khobar is the most notorious of the region’s extortion gangs, and authorities say it is made up of criminals and former Muslim rebels who have been blamed for attacking businesses that refuse to pay their ransom demands. The group is on a US list of terrorist organizations.
In April last year, two homemade bombs exploded hours apart on one bus, wounding the conductor and five passengers. A bomb exploded at a Cotabato city bus terminal in February the same year, wounding two people.
Troops last year captured a suspected Al-Khobar leader, Mokasid Dilna, who allegedly trained with militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 1990s. Military officials said he provided refuge to foreign militants and acted as a link with two local Muslim groups — the violent Abu Sayyaf and the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has been engaged in peace talks with the government.
In the Philippines?
Liberation from what--everyone knows that Islamist terrorism is all because of Israel!
Um, apparently these guys didn't get the memo.
According to Wikipedia:
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is a group established by supporters of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), a rebel organization formed in the 1960s following the Jabidah massacre. The MNLF established the formation of an independent Islamic state in the southern Philippines and took part in terrorist attacks and assassinations to achieve their goals. The government in Manila did not recognize this demand and sent troops into the southern Philippines to control the insurgency. The MILF was established in 1981 when Salamat Hashim and his followers split from the MNLF, due to the MNLF's reluctance to launch an insurgency against the Philippine government and its supporters.[emphasis added]Last year, 105 Philippines were killed and 267 were wounded as a result of Islamist terrorist attacks in the Philippines.
And that was not the only country other than Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan to suffer Islamist terrorist attacks.
For the current list, check out The Religion of Peace.
So far, no outcry from the West that the MILF should in fact be given its own state.
Technorati Tag: Moro Islamic Liberation Front and MILF and Islamist Terrorism.