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Published - U.S. spy agencies, Philippine military target local terrorists

U.S. spy agencies, Philippine military target local terrorists

By Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines – American intelligence agencies are coordinating with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to build up more credible information regarding terrorist leaders in the country who might still have possible ties with al Qaeda, a military spokesman said on Wednesday.

Days after the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, AFP spokesman Commodore Jose Miguel Rodriguez said there is ongoing information sharing between the Armed Forces’ intelligence units and their U.S. military counterparts, as well as the FBI and the CIA.

“The U.S. is a defense partner of our country. Coordination is always there information sharing is on continuing basis. This is part of mutual intellect exchange at ito ay very active,” he said.

Rodriguez added that intelligence information is something they have to beef up in the light of unknown terrorist movements after the death of bin Laden. “We need to build up on this if we feel there is a threat and kaya nga itinaas natin threat level.”

Rodriguez also said the AFP has activated intelligence committees, composed of various government intelligence networks, to come up with a more accurate assessment with regards to the security scenario following bin Laden’s death.

The AFP has reasons to believe that the linkage of al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) in the Philippines is no longer existing. The military thinks JI leaders have already fled the country after losing significant funds and manpower resources in the Philippines.

“What we know is that yung JI umalis na sa ating bansa because of lack of mass based support, hindi na nakukuha ng funding at wala nang suporta,” Rodriguez

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