New base for terror
The week's news at a glance.
The Philippine government formally protested to the U.S. this week after a top U.S. diplomat labeled a Philippine region the next Afghanistan. Joseph Mussomeli, the chargé daffaires at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, told Australian television that the Philippine island of Mindanao was fast becoming a new base for international terrorism. Mindanao has long harbored Islamic militants, and Mussomeli said they are now working with Jemaah Islamiyah, the al Qaidalinked group that carried out the 2002 bombings in Indonesia that killed hundreds of Australian tourists. Mussomeli also said that the Philippine system of transferring money from overseas foreign workers is ideal for terrorists to hide money transfers. The Philippine Defense Ministry called Mussomelis comments grossly inaccurate, patently unfair, prejudicial, and counterproductive.