Saturday, April 23, 2011

Face to face with Osama bin Laden Part 1 (Target: The Philippines)

Leaping through the pages of Maria Ressa’s “Seeds of Terror” stirred my interest over the man named Osama bin Laden, so elusive that I had to ask, what do we really know about him? Yes we all know he’s to be held accountable for the “9/11 attacks” in US, one among the top of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, founder of al-Qaeda…the list could go further and further.

But how far can we understand his notion of jihad, the creation of an extreme radical Islam and his battle against the imperialist country of the United States of America and others whom he/they called “enemies of the Islam?”

The Osama bin Laden that I pictured reading Maria Ressa’s book is a god-like creature with his eyes all over the world that I felt like even at this point that I’m writing an article about him, he’s watching me, giggling over my naivety and my dumb effort in trying to study the organization he created, the al-Qaeda and the sprawling network of its arm group here in Southeast Asia, the Jemaah Islamiyah .

I know even before that al-Qaeda has been using the idea of Muslim persecutions to recruit new mujahideen (new recruits). Ever heard of the saying “slaves of today are the tyrants of tomorrow?” The al-Qaeda, with its leader Osama bin Laden formulating strict ploys of brainwashing and sweepings of Islamic digression, continue to dominate the world of terrorism.

Former president Joseph Estrada was right after all waging an all-out war against the MILF. But really, do we still need to question where the MILF stands? Just as crazy, the thought that if the Bangsamoro ancestral domain succeeded would mean more training camps for terrorists here in the Philippines.

“Years before that (August 24, 2001) and until today, thousands of Islamic militants, Filipinos and foreigners, have learned terrorist techniques in more than twenty-seven camps set up by the MILF in the southern Philippines." 
Ressa, 2003

Now, if I pictured bin Laden giggling over my naivety in trying to study his al-Qaeda, he must be laughing madly of the Philippine government’s continuous denial of the existence of terrorists and even more terrorist camps within the country.

In my opinion, Philippines got directly involved under former president Corazon Aquino’s rule. Ressa wrote, “[i]n 1988, bin Laden sent his brother-in-law Mohammed Jamal Khalifa to the Philippines to set up a financial infrastructure of charities and other organizations. Khalifa married a local woman and integrated into Filipino society, often asking politicians and Manila’s elite to sit on the boards of his charities.”

That was when the Philippines have been placed in the palms of Osama bin Laden. The September 11 attack in the United States followed and so is the series of bombings like the one that took place in Bali, Indonesia in 2001.

In style, the sweeping chaos of transition from Marcos dictatorship to Aquino’s idea of democracy pave way for al Qaeda’s infiltration of MILF and the Abu Sayaf Group. But while Abu Sayaf got an indirect linkage with Osama bin Laden, the MILF remained to be its stronghold receiving direct funds from the al-Qaeda. The MILF of course denied this vehemently. 

To present, President Noynoy Aquino followed the track of his predecessor Gloria Arroyo. The Philippine government is currently on negotiation table with the leaders of MILF, a solution they say that would create a peaceful co-existence of Muslims and Christians in the country. Obviously, President Aquino like President Arroyo is in denial of the existence of al-Qaeda forces within the country. But as of this writing, no formal statement from the Palace is issued because nobody ever asked and probably nobody would tell the president. I wonder how Osama bin Laden is reacting in this another bite in his well played charade.

But the more horrifying scene would be Osama bin Laden in flesh, stepping within the Philippine soil itself. As a matter of fact, it happened a few years ago. be continued 


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