Philippines: MILF Hiding Abu Sayyaf Terrorists

In the south, military commanders believe that the MILF is hiding Abu Sayyaf terrorists in MILF camps and safe houses. As troops try to inspect the MILF facilities, this increasingly leads to fighting, despite the ceasefire between the government and the MILF. Meanwhile, Abu Sayyaf has been devoting more of its efforts to crime than terrorism. Kidnapping for ransom, rather than political goals, is usually a way to raise cash for terrorist operations. But now, Abu Sayyaf is apparently doing it mainly to meet the payroll, and pay local MILF commanders for protection. The MILF also indulges in criminal activities (especially extorting local businesses) to stay in business. While the MILF and Abu Sayyaf preach about helping to free the people from the rule of corrupt government officials (who tend to be both Moslem and Christian in this part of the country), the rebels tend to be just as corrupt and oppressive. This explains the declining popularity, and power, of the MILF.
The Strategy Page

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