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3/31/04 - PHILIPPINES, BRITAIN FOIL TERROR - 2004-04-01


This is an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government:

From one side of the world to the other, governments are breaking up terrorist plots and networks. Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced that Philippine police arrested several suspected terrorists and seized a large amount of explosives. Philippine officials said those arrested included members of the Islamic terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group, which has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks and kidnappings in the southern Philippines. One suspect is also reportedly being investigated for possible ties to the Islamic extremist group calling itself Jemaah Islamiyah. Among other terrorist attacks, this al-Qaida-linked group killed some two-hundred people in the October 2002 bombings in Bali, Indonesia.

President Arroyo said the suspects were planning attacks in Manila similar to the recent train-bombings in Madrid, Spain:

“We have pre-empted a Madrid-level attack on the metropolis by capturing an explosive cache of eighty pounds T-N-T. This is intended to be used for bombing malls and trains in Metro Manila.”

In London, British police are reported to be looking into possible al-Qaida links of eight terrorist suspects now in custody. Peter Clarke, head of the anti-terrorism branch of the Metropolitan Police, says police in London also seized half a ton of ammonium nitrate, which can be used to make a bomb:

“Today’s operation, which involved some seven-hundred officers in total, is part of continuing and extensive inquiries by police and the security service into alleged international terrorist activity. And I must stress that the threat from terrorism remains very real.”

Around the world, the fight against al-Qaida and other terrorists proceeds. “We’re making progress,” says President George W. Bush. But, “There is more work to do.”

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