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Monday, April 30, 2007
In a report by the US Department of State to the US congress has revealed that terrorism has increased over 25% year on year and fatalities have increased by forty per cent.
The figures put into perspective the figures and deaths that while often inder reproted in media there i a major conflict on at World War Level that many in media often chose to ignore. Some 74,543 civilians were targeted.
”… In the annual report to Congress includes analysis from the National Counterterrorism Center, a U.S. intelligence clearinghouse, which found only a slight increase in the overall number of civilians killed, injured or kidnapped by terrorists in 2006. But the attacks were more frequent and deadlier, with a 25 percent jump in the number of terrorist attacks and a 40 percent increase in civilian fatalities from the previous year.
In 2006, NCTC reported, there were a total of 14,338 terrorist attacks around the world. These attacks targeted 74,543 civilians and resulted in 20,498 deaths. …”
Iraq: Center of global terrorism action
The report clearly shows that the center of the attacks is Iraq: ” Violence in Iraq accounted for 45 percent of the overall attacks counted by NCTC and 65 percent of worldwide terrorism deaths. Terrorist incidents in Iraq nearly doubled from 3,468 in 2005 to 6,630 in 2006. “
It went on further to say : “Although kidnappings declined by 50 percent internationally, Iraq experienced a 300 percent increase, according to NCTC.” an indication as shown by experience here in the Philippines that KFR and terrorism are linked. Kidnapping for Ransom is often used by terror groups and in some cases insurgents as means to both ensure community ‘cooperation’ and also a means to raise revenue.
The Philippines: ” the ‘Success’ story in war vs. terror’
The 2006 US State Department global report on counter terrorism praises the country citing “‘the Philippines” as among others in the region who are, ” playing leading roles in confronting threats from groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf.”
 ” Philippines
The Philippines, one of the earliest supporters of the War on Terror, continued its bilateral and multilateral counterterrorism efforts. In August, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) launched “Operation Ultimatum”, a concerted effort to capture or kill the top Jemaah Islamiya (JI) and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) operatives on Jolo Island in the South. The operation has been highly successful to date as a number of ASG and JI members have been captured or killed since its inception. Philippine forces recently eliminated both Khadaffy Janjalani, the nominal leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group, and ASG spokesperson, Abu Solaiman. Operation Ultimatum is one feature of a U.S.- assisted strategy to strengthen the rule of law in the Sulu archipelago. Joint U.S.-Philippines military exercises know as “Balikatan” supported the Philippine government’s campaign to separate terrorists from the general population and diminish support for their cause. The Antiterrorism Task Force arrested, captured, or killed 88 suspected terrorists, and seized over 900 kilograms of explosive materials. Philippine authorities also made some progress in tracking, blocking, and seizing terrorists’ assets.
Despite some successes, major evidentiary and procedural obstacles in the Philippines continued to hinder the building of effective terrorism cases. A large and growing case backlog and the absence of consistent trials against terrorists were impediments to the prosecution of suspected terrorists. Despite plans dating back to 2001, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) had yet to introduce a digitized, machine-readable passport. While the Philippines cooperated with U.S. requests for prosecutions for persons who had tampered or altered travel documents, the prosecutions carried low-level penalties for those convicted of such fraud. In addition, there was a reluctance to investigate or charge vendors or users of false documents. Under current Philippine law, the suspect must present the fraudulent document to a Philippine government authority in order for a crime to have been committed. At year’s end, a counterterrorism bill approved in April by the House of Representatives remained in the Senate.
The Philippines experienced 93 bombings, ranging from improvised explosive devices and grenades to landmines, including:
- In February, the bombing of a karaoke bar located near a Philippine military base in Jolo left one dead and 22 injured.
- In March, a bomb exploded at the Sulu Consumers Cooperative in Jolo killing nine people and injuring 20.
- In June, a roadside bombing in Shariff Aguak killed three people and injured eight.
- In August, two bombs exploded almost simultaneously in Kidapawan City injuring three people.
- In September, a bomb exploded at a public market in General Santos City killing two people and injuring six.
- In October, a bomb exploded near the headquarters of the Sulu Philippine National Police in Jolo injuring two persons.
- In a separate October attack, three bombs exploded in Tacurong, Sultan Kudurat; Makilala, North Cotabato; and Cotabato City killing eight people and injuring over 30.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) was empowered by the Philippines Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 (AMLA), as amended in 2003, to investigate and prosecute money laundering. The AMLC is the lead agency responsible for implementing the asset freeze measures called for by the UN Security Council 1267 Sanctions Committee. Under current law, however, the AMLC cannot take direct action against suspected terrorists or those supporting terrorism, but must apply for a court order to inquire into bank accounts and direct the freezing of assets and transactions. The AMLC sometimes needed several months to issue the relevant resolution to the Court of Appeals after receiving information about a newly-listed terrorist entity and circulating it to the financial institutions. The AMLC has 91 cases pending in various stages with the courts, including 34 for money laundering, 24 for civil forfeiture, and the rest pertaining to freeze orders and bank inquiries. The slow judicial process hindered efforts by the AMLC to see these cases through to conclusion; a trial can take up to seven years to complete. In April, a bilateral U.S.-Philippines Security Engagement Board (SEB) was inaugurated to address non-traditional security issues, including counterterrorism and maritime security. The SEB set the stage for the “Kapid Bisig” (Shoulder-to-Shoulder) counterterrorism framework that focused on civil affairs, capability upgrades, and support for AFP operations. The United States assisted the Philippines in establishing an interagency intelligence fusion center in Zamboanga City to support both maritime interdictions against transnational criminal/terrorist organizations, and the “coast watch” system in Mindanao, established with Australian assistance. ” 
AFGHANISTAN & South Asia attacks up:
The report also found a 50 percent increase in terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, from 491 incidents in 2005 to 749 in 2006. To defeat the resurgent threat, the report urges the international community deliver promised assistance and continue working with Afghans to build counterinsurgency capabilities, ensure legitimate and effective governance and counter a surge in narcotics cultivation.
” NCTC reported that the majority of terrorist attacks remain centered in the Middle East and South Asia, but noted that overall attacks in South Asia declined by 10 percent. ” so says the State department press release.
Child victims of attacks increase 80% increase in casualties:
Children were increasingly the victims of terrorism in 2006, with 1,800 killed or injured in attacks, an 80 percent increase from the previous year. As in 2005, government officials, teachers and journalists remain the leading professionals targeted by terrorists, according to the report.
VENEZUELA: Hugo Chavez: possible state Sponsor?
The report also claims that Venezuela’s leader may be seen as major figure in state sponsored terrorism soon, ” President Hugo Chavez has strengthened ties with Cuba and Iran and has allowed terrorist groups and drug traffickers from neighboring Colombia to cross its borders. ” says US State Department in its press release.
However looking over the report at length it did cite the cooperation of Venezuelan police in protecting the US Embassy. ” An individual claiming to be a member of an Islamic extremist group in Venezuela placed two pipe bombs outside the American Embassy in Caracas on October 23.” But went on to say, ” Venezuelan police safely disposed of the two pipe bombs and immediately made one arrest.”
The report also cited that. “The investigation by Venezuelan authorities resulted in the additional arrest of the alleged ideological leader of the group. At year’s end, both suspects remained in jail and prosecutors were pressing terrorism charges against them.” yet in other areas of ideological conflict Venezuela still supports or so the US State Department report says - Narco Terrorism and leftist rebel groups who have engaged in terror attacks versus Americans and American companies.
 “… President Hugo Chavez persisted in public criticism of U.S. counterterrorism efforts, deepened Venezuelan relationships with Iran and Cuba, and was unwilling to prevent Venezuelan territory from being used as a safe haven by the FARC and ELN, effectively flouting UN Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1540, which form part of the legal basis of international counterterrorism efforts.
Chavez’ ideological sympathy for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) limited Venezuelan cooperation with Colombia in combating terrorism. FARC and ELN units often crossed into Venezuelan territory to rest and regroup with relative impunity. Splinter groups of the FARC and another designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, the United Self- Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), operated in various parts of Venezuela and were involved in narcotrafficking.
It remained unclear to what extent the Venezuelan government provided material support to Colombian terrorists. However, limited amounts of weapons and ammunition — some from official Venezuelan stocks and facilities — have turned up in the hands of Colombian terrorist organizations. The Venezuelan government did not systematically police the 1,400-mile Venezuelan-Colombian border to prevent the movement of groups of armed terrorists or to interdict arms or the flow of narcotics.”
The full text of Country Reports on Terrorism 2006 is available on the State Department Web site.
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