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March 30, 2004
Brits, Filipinos Score Victories Against Terrorism

Twelve terrorists are in custody in the UK and the Phillipines today as major terrorist operations have been disrupted. In the Phillipines, four Abu Sayyaf Islamic terrorists were arrested and eighty pounds of explosives confiscated:

The Philippine president, Gloria Arroyo, today said that a terrorist attack on the scale of the Madrid bombings had been averted with the arrest of four Abu Sayyaf members and the seizure of 36kg (80lb) of explosives. The suspects, who allegedly trained with Jemaah Islamiyah, south-east Asia's al-Qaida-linked terrorist network, had planned to bomb trains and shopping malls in Manila, Ms Arroyo said. ...

One of the arrested men, Redendo Cain Dellosa, had claimed responsibility for a February 27 explosion on a passenger ferry in which more than 100 people were killed, Ms Arroyo added, although no official conclusion about the cause of the blast had yet been reached.

Dellosa is said to have trained in explosives with Jemaah Islamiyah militants on the southern island of Mindanao.

A second suspect, Alhamser Manatad Limbong, allegedly planted an October 2002 bomb that killed a US serviceman in the southern city of Zamboanga. He also allegedly executed US hostage Guillermo Sobero in the same year.

At almost the same time, British police seized a half-ton of ammonium nitrate explosives and arrested eight people. Ammonium nitrate was the main component of the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh and the Manchester blast at a UK shopping mall in 1996:

Peter Clarke, Scotland Yard's deputy assistant commissioner, said detectives carried out 24 raids across London and the Home Counties.

Two men were arrested in Uxbridge, one in Ilford, one in Horley, one in Slough and three in Crawley. All the suspects are believed to be Muslims and British citizens of Pakistani descent. They are now being interviewed by anti-terrorist detectives. ... Ammonium nitrate fertiliser was recently used by terrorists in bombings against British targets in Turkey and the bombing of a western residential compound in Saudi Arabia.

It was also used in the Oklahoma bombing in 1995, is believed to have been used by al-Qa'eda in the attack on the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998, and was the major ingredient in the biggest of the bombs used by Islamic terrorists in Bali which killed 202 people in 2002.

The British used a task force of over 700 officers to root out the terrorists in their midst. With the recent developments in Pakistan and diplomatic reversals in Libya and Syria, the comprehensive anti-terror strategy seems to be paying off.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 30, 2004 6:01 AM

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As reported by BBC News Asia “Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said forces had seized explosives which were to have been used to bomb trains and shopping centres in the capital, Manila. Several people have been arrested in connection with the plot,... [Read More]

Tracked on March 30, 2004 10:25 AM

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