Posts Tagged ‘Philippines’

h1

The money man behind Ramzi Yousef’s terror

January 6, 2014

Looking back at the financing the Bojinka plot

The 1993 World Trade Center bombing killed six people—a disappointment in the perspective of bombing mastermind Ramzi Yousef.  He sought something grander and more devastating, but to pull it off he’d need more money.

The 2006 television miniseries “The Path to 9/11,” (one of the best films ever depicting terror finance methods) dramatized this historical development by showing Yousef meeting with his uncle and future 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad.  In the scene below, KSM says he may be able to obtain financing for Yousef’s next attack—a cluster of onboard airplane explosions that would become known as the “Bojinka plot”— with help from “a wealthy Saudi,” Osama bin Laden.

Bojinka was foiled after the night of Jan. 6, 1995, when a chemical fire in Yousef’s apartment bomb lab 19 years ago today caught the attention of Philippine authorities.  But the audacity of the plan, the financial commitment of Osama bin Laden, and the logistical involvement of KSM remained as elements that would evolve into the 9/11 attack itself.

h1

Marxist rebels go bananas, attack fruit company

August 25, 2013

Left-wing militants have attacked Sumitomo Fruits Corp. (Sumifru) site in the southern Philippines after the business refused to pay the extortion money demanded by the insurgents.  Twenty communist gunmen of the New People’s Army burned six Sumifru trucks and seized equipment from the site.

Financing themselves with revolutionary taxes imposed against corporations and wealthy businessmen is a common tactic of leftist guerrillas including the Kurdish PKK and, until recently, the Basque ETA.  Terrorist groups such as the Taliban and al-Shabaab have employed similar tactics by demanding Islamic taxes from businessmen and shopkeepers within their territory.

A special report from United Press International:

Filipino NPA guerrillas attack Japanese business site

Filipino Communist New Peoples Army guerrillas attacked a Japanese Sumitumo Fruits Co. site in Mindanao.

DAVAO CITY, Philippines, Aug. 14 (UPI) — Filipino communist New Peoples Army guerrillas attacked a Japanese Sumitumo Fruits Co. site in Mindanao, authorities said.

The Sumitumo facility in Bangbang, a village in Mindanao’s North Cotabato province, has been targeted repeatedly.

The Bernama news agency reported Wednesday local authorities believe the attack could have been instigated by the firm’s refusal to pay the NPA’s “revolutionary” tax, exacted from businesses and politicians as the price for doing business.

The NPA, estimated by the Filipino government to have 4,000 members, is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines and has been battling authorities in Manila and 60 Philippine provinces since 1969.

The geography of the Philippines, which consists of more than 7,000 islands, with the 11 largest making up more than 95 percent of the country’s area, adds to the difficulties of imposing central government control.

Not only do the Philippines suffer from an NPA Communist insurgency, but Muslims militants in Mindanao have been a problem for decades.

Insurgency has a long history in the Philippines.

Islam infiltrated Southeast Asia through traders and Sufis beginning in the 13th century. Unlike its spread in the Middle East, it was a largely peaceful process. This process left the Philippines with approximately 5 percent of its population Muslim, concentrated largely in the southern part of the country.

The NPA’s militancy is not limited to Mindanao…

h1

Government shares wealth with MILF

July 18, 2013

The central government of the Philippines has brokered a deal with the radical Moro Islamic Liberation Front to split revenues generated in the breakaway southern island of Mindanao.  The MILF (or “Bangsamoro”) will receive 75 percent of tax revenues, 75 percent of mining revenues, and 50 percent of fossil fuel revenues, with the central government retaining the balance.  The “crown jewel” of the agreement is that the MILF will receive their whopping cut through an automatic, annual, haggle-free grant from the central government.

It remains to be seen which taxes, such as zakat, jizya, or kharaj, the MILF may seek to impose on Mindanao residents.  The agreement is reminiscent of a truce between the government of Pakistan and militants in the tribal belt that resulted in the imposition of jizya against Sikhs in that country in 2009.

From the Philippine Star on Tuesday:

MANILA, Philippines – A wealth-sharing deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is advantageous to the country and “will stand the test of legality and constitutionality,” the chief of the government panel negotiating peace with Muslim rebels said yesterday.

In a press briefing at Malacañang, chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said a wealth-sharing scheme approved on Saturday was justified as it would make the envisioned Bangsamoro entity self-sustaining and progressive.

The Bangsamoro is also entitled to automatic appropriation from the central government.

Based on the agreement, the Bangsamoro entity gets 75 percent share in taxes and revenues from natural resources and metallic minerals and 50 percent from energy and other mineral resources.

Ferrer said that of all the provisions in the wealth-sharing annex, “the jewel in the crown” was the provision entitling Bangsamoro to automatic appropriation and regular release of budget.

The allocation will be in the form of an annual “block grant” from the central government similar to the internal revenue allotment (IRA) received by local government units.

“The formula for the automatic appropriation of block grant will be provided in the basic law. Many of us have not focused on this detail because much of the reporting on media have concentrated on the sharing arrangements with regard to natural resources but, as I said, this is the jewel in the crown,” Ferrer said.

At the same time, Ferrer said the agreement provided that revenues collected by the Bangsamoro from additional taxes and their share in government income from natural resources would be deducted from the annual block grants on the fourth year of the operation of the regular Bangsamoro government.

“This provision came from the MILF. It indicated that behind the haggling for more share is the intent to be less and less dependent on the national government,” Ferrer said.

“It indicated that the intention is not to get the ‘lion’s share’ for its own sake but to be able, in the future, to stand tall as a progressive and peaceful region; an equal partner of the central government in an equally peaceful and progressive country,” she said.

“This, indeed, is the true meaning of partnership – a partnership that is not based on dependency and patronage, but on the strength and capacities introduced by both for the benefit of the whole,” she added.

Ferrer said this was a unique provision because there would be automatic appropriation that would spare the region from the constraints of central budgeting process.

“I would like to say that this is a structural difference. This is not just an add-on in terms of additional percentage or whatever but this, basically, redefines the whole structure with regard to the financing of the Bangsamoro government,” Ferrer said…

h1

Money jihad news: recommended reading

April 18, 2013
  • Cyber attacks are often treated as technology news. But now it’s more about bucks than bits… more>>
  • So generous of Venezuela to have given a diplomatic passport Hezbollah agent Ghazi Nasr al Din . How many more operatives like him are immune from baggage searches at customs?  More>>
  • You’re a kidnapped Filipino, and your government won’t pay for your ransom. Why your government is right… more>>
  • The Palestinian Authority denies paying salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons.  I beg to disagree, says prisoner’s wife… more>>
  • Are the FARC and Al Qaeda partnering in a cocaine-for-cash and weapons trade? And you thought cash-for-clunkers was bad… more>>
h1

Power to tax granted to MILF

October 14, 2012

The government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have reached the framework for greater Muslim control over the southern Philippines.  The framework grants the MILF the power to tax the locals (see here and here).  To the layman, this may sound like a technical concession of little importance and limited risk.

But given the track record of militant groups that have used traditional Islamic tax policies such as zakat and jizya to fund jihad, this concession is very disturbing.

Consider:

  • Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan impose mandatory zakat (a portion of which tax may be allocated to the mujahideen in accordance with sharia law).
  • Pakistan struck a truce in 2009 that wound up allowing Islamic militants to collect jizya from Sikhs.
  • Malaysia imposes mandatory zakat, a quasi-jizya through its bumiputra system, and has at least one Islamic political party that has proposed the reinstatement of the kharaj—an Islamic property tax that imposes higher rates on non-Muslims.
  • According to the U.S. State Department’s 2009 report on international religious freedom in reference to the Philippines:  “In July 2008 Catholic Bishop Martin Jumoad of Isabela, Basilan and other Catholics reportedly received letters from self-described ‘Muslim warriors’ possibly linked to the ASG [Abu Sayyaf Group], threatening harm if the Catholics did not convert to Islam or pay ‘Islamic taxes.’”

Given the pattern, would you really expect the MILF to apply modern, secular income and sales taxes with rates equally applied to Muslims and Catholics alike?  Would you expect the revenues to be used for social services equitably delivered to all citizens regardless of religion?  Unlikely.

h1

Two Filipinos killed during jizya tax billing

April 13, 2012

Abu Sayyaf, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, or some other group of Philippine jihadists is trying to force bus companies to pay jizya to them in exchange for “protecting” their passengers by not bombing them.  But that didn’t stop the Muslim fanatics from detonating a bomb and killing two passengers as a warning shot first.  From NaharNet with a hat tip to Rantburg yesterday:

Two Dead, 5 Wounded in Southern Philippine Bus Bombing

Two people were killed and five others were wounded when a bomb exploded on a bus in the southern Philippines on Wednesday, the regional military commander said.

The explosion occurred as the bus was pulling into a terminal in Carmen, a town on the restive island of Mindanao that is home to a long-running Muslim insurgency, Lieutenant Colonel Benjie Hao told reporters.

The regional military spokesman initially reported that 10 people were killed and two wounded, but Hao said the death toll of two was confirmed after soldiers reached the scene of the blast.

The bomb was apparently planted inside the bus, according to Hao.

Although there were no immediate suspects in the blast, Hao said that extortionists had previously carried out such bombings to force the bus company to pay them protection money.

The incident took place in a region where Muslim separatist rebels and heavily-armed outlaw groups are active, often resorting to extortion, kidnapping and banditry to raise funds.

“Extortionists”=jihadists.  “Protection money”=jizya.  “Outlaw groups”=those acting in accordance with Islamic law…

h1

Ransomed by Abu Sayyaf: a heartbreaking plea

January 15, 2012

On Jan. 1, Muslim kidnappers demanded a ransom payment, which is permitted by the Koran, for an “infidel” Australian they captured in December.  A statement by Warren Rodwell, a man whose love for travel deposited him into the clutches of jihadist kidnappers, has since been released to the media.

Take a listen to this two-minute clip from reporter Samantha Donovan on Rodwell’s devastating plea to his family and the Philippine and Australian governments to do whatever they can do pay the $2 million ransom demanded by his captors from the Islamic terrorist organization Abu Sayyaf.  From the ABC radio program “AM” on Jan. 5:

The Islamic system which allows abduction for ransom presents civilized governments with a reprehensible choice between funding the enemies and captors of their citizens by paying the ransoms, intervening militarily in a special operation, or leaving families to fend for themselves.