The following blog posting would have had more power as a polemic if the name in its title had been spelled correctly. "Guillermo Sobrero" does return 1,330 results on Google, but those represent some sort of alternate universe. The correct spelling of the Philippine beheading victim is "Guillermo Sobero", which returns a healthy 37,900 results on Google. (The third paragraph, quoting the Washington Post, incongruously gets the name spelled right.)
But the writer and all of his commentators are a savage example of the effort expended at the demonization of Islam, with "Islamofascism" being the sudden new scare ideology to replace Vietnam's and the Cold War's "red menace." The premise of Saddam the secularist from impoverished Iraq financially supporting the millionaire bandits publicized as the Abu Sayyaf is laughable.
May 2, 2006, Always On Watch Archives, Guillermo Sobrero And Abu Sayyaf,
We have moved to Always On Watch Two
Please update your links.
Tuesday, May 2, 2006
(All emphases by Always On Watch)
Do the names in the title of this blog article mean anything to you? Ring any bells?
The following brief item appeared in the Sunday, April 30, 2006, Washington Post:
"MANILA -- Military intelligence agents captured a second militant allegedly involved in the abduction of three Americans, including a missionary couple, from a resort five years ago. Abdasil Malangka Dima, an alleged member of Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim extremist group linked to al-Qaeda, was captured in Basilan province, the military said.
"Dima allegedly was involved in the abduction of Martin and Gracia Burnham, from Wichita, Kan., tourist Guillermo Sobero of Corona, Calif., and 17 Filipinos in 2001. Sobero was beheaded and Martin Burnham was killed during an army rescue mission."I didn't wake up until September 11, 2001, and did not recognize the names in the above news item, though I vaguely recalled the names Martin and Gracia Burnham.
A quick Internet search of the name "Guillermo Sobrero" yielded a June 12, 2001 report of his beheading. Excerpt from the June 12, 2001 article about the beheading of Sobrero:
“'Look for his head in Tuburan,' spokesman Abu Sabaya said.... "
"Sabaya told the radio station: 'As an independence day gift we released an amigo, Guillermo Sobrero, but he doesn't have a head now.'
"Today is the 103rd anniversary of the Philippines' declaration of independence from Spain.
"Sabaya said there would be no more negotiations.
"'There is no reason why we should not behead the others,' he said...."My Internet search also yielded the following 2003 blog article which contained an excerpt from Gracia Burnham's book In the Presence of My Enemies:
"'… I was watching a group of the remaining captors as they horsed around with each other, just having fun. Somebody pushed a pleasant young man named Jaafar, who was probably no more than eighteen. In a slightly mocking tone, he retorted “Oooh, oooh, don’t kill me! I want to see my sons!” … In the days ahead we heard that line repeated more than once; in fact it became kind of an "in" joke among the captors. We gradually admitted to ourselves the awful truth: Guillermo's decapitated body was lying back there somewhere on a hillside, marked only by his head raised up on a bamboo pole like a trophy.'" Consider the following excerpt from the March 27, 2006 Weekly Standard article "Saddam's Philippines Terror Connection: And other revelations from the Iraqi regime files":
"SADDAM HUSSEIN'S REGIME PROVIDED FINANCIAL support to Abu Sayyaf, the al Qaeda-linked jihadist group founded by Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law in the Philippines in the late 1990s, according to documents captured in postwar Iraq. An eight-page fax dated June 6, 2001, and sent from the Iraqi ambassador in Manila to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Baghdad, provides an update on Abu Sayyaf kidnappings and indicates that the Iraqi regime was providing the group with money to purchase weapons. The Iraqi regime suspended its support--temporarily, it seems--after high-profile kidnappings, including of Americans, focused international attention on the terrorist group...."Read it all. Note the apparent connection among Saddam Hussein, al-Qaeda, and Abu Sayyaf. Often, what we Westerners think of as different groups of Islamic terrorists have ties, usually financial. According to Dr. Walid Phares, one of the speakers I heard at the Pre-Symposium event on Friday, April 28, 2006, different Islamic terrorist-organizations are branches of the same tree.
More information about Abu Sayyaf can be found here, in this April 2005 report from the State Department. Excerpt:
"The ASG [Abu Sayyaf Group] engages in kidnappings for ransom, bombings,beheadings, assassinations, and extortion. The group’s stated goal is to promote an independent Islamic state in western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago (areas in the southern Philippines heavily populated by Muslims) but the ASG has primarily used terror for financial profit. Recent bombings may herald a return to a more radical, politicized agenda, at least among certain factions. The group’s first large-scale action was a raid on the town of Ipil in Mindanao in April 1995. In April of 2000, an ASG faction kidnapped 21 persons, including 10 Western tourists, from a resort in Malaysia. On May 27, 2001, the ASG kidnapped three US citizens and 17 Filipinos from a tourist resort in Palawan, Philippines. Several of the hostages, including US citizen Guillermo Sobero, were murdered. During a Philippine military hostage rescue operation on June 7, 2002, US hostage Gracia Burnham was rescued, but her husband Martin Burnham and Filipina Deborah Yap were killed. Philippine authorities say that the ASG had a role in the bombing near a Philippine military base in Zamboanga in October 2002 that killed a US serviceman. In February 2004, Khadaffy Janjalani's faction bombed SuperFerry 14 in Manila Bay, killing approximately 132, and in March, Philippine authorities arrested an ASG cell whose bombing targets included the US Embassy in Manila."
So, what got me curious about Guillermo Sobrero and Abu Sayyaf? The Washington Post's mention of a beheading, of course. Just how many beheadings don't make the front page of our newspapers so as not to promote Islamophobia? And how many more reports of Islamic terrorism are buried or not published at all?
posted by Always On Watch @5/02/2006 06:40:00 AM 112 comments links to this post
112 Comments:At 5/02/2006 7:24 AM, LASunsett said...
"SADDAM HUSSEIN'S REGIME PROVIDED FINANCIAL support to Abu Sayyaf, the al Qaeda-linked jihadist group founded by Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law in the Philippines in the late 1990s, according to documents captured in postwar Iraq.
What gets me is, the left will still say that there was no evidence that Saddam had any connection to 9-11 and that he was not a threat to the US. But as we continue to uncover information, we find out differently. Even still, the left refuses, not fails to, but refuses to see the evidence in any form of an objective light.
They do love darkness, don't they? At 5/02/2006 8:26 AM, Let Non Arab - Muslims Live! said...
Anything that typifies Islamofascism is automatically sensored, it starts at the language, includes why Islamofacsists' genocide in Sudan is a mere "conflict" by mainstream media, or how they "insugen"-ized the terrorists in Iraq, then has "sectarian-ized" the fascists attacks between Sunni & Shiite Muslims there. At 5/02/2006 8:41 AM, the merry widow said...
AoW- If you haven't read Gracia Burnham's book, do so. She is bluntly honest about her fears and doubts during this time. It is a hard read in places, I cried at parts. But well worth the time! May we prove as faithful if we go through tough times. Her testimony of how she handled sudden widowhood helped me, though mine I saw coming for 11 months and her's was sudden!
tmw At 5/02/2006 8:46 AM, Mussolini said...
Lasunsett - Yes, they refuse. But it's not because they're stupid. It's not because they can't make the connection.
I guarantee you if Kerry was in office, they would see the connection. They're playing the partisan playbook andhave to be on the opposing side no matter the truth.
To them, AND to most conservatives, it's just part of the game. The truth is the football we fling back and forth is part of the play. The truth doesn't matter - its getting perception to either goal-line.
Even if you do get a principled democrat and republican to sit and objectively discuss the truth, the "yeah, buts" start flying.
We are creatures to the gamebook the two parties give us. We fight each other while they do what they want to enslave us. At 5/02/2006 9:04 AM, nanc said...
gracia burnham is everything her first name implies - graceful. although i've not read her book have seen her in several interviews in the last couple of years. one tough cookie.
as for islam - not a tree aow - more like a poisonous weed that goes unchecked until it takes everything you have to eradicate it. i wonder if we have what it takes.
iran threatening our eternal home - AGAIN - this morning.
as you all know, my favorite t.v. pastor/teacher, zola levitt, died this previous month and i received the last news letter he was a part of before he left this world. it is a MUST read:
just go to levitt letter - it's pdf, but well worth the time. NOW IS THE TIME. At 5/02/2006 9:33 AM, Always On Watch said...
TMW and Nanc,
I read some excerpts from that book quite a while back. I might have heard of it through Voice of the Martyrs. At 5/02/2006 9:34 AM, Always On Watch said...
The tentacles are spread throughout the world. That is not to say that we shouldn't hold accountable the pc msm and the universities which spout the propaganda "religion of peace." We must also not let up on our elected representatives; the enemy is well organized with regard to the political game. At 5/02/2006 9:45 AM, Always On Watch said...
If the doings of the Islamofascists were told in full, the alarm would be sounded.
"Conflict," "insurgents," "rebels" are all euphemisms designed to mask the truth.
Furthermore, as long as all Muslims read and literally believe the Koran, Islamofascism will proliferate. At 5/02/2006 9:55 AM, Mr. Ducky said...
"According to this source, the documents had been examined by the U.S. intelligence community and judged "consistent with authentic documents"--the professionals' way of saying that these items cannot definitively be certified but seem to be the real thing."
So they are a little better than the Niger yellowcake forgeries.
Interesting that a reputable journal like Foreign Affairs didn't mention this nonsense.
Why would Hussein bother supporting a bunch of kidnap for hire thugs who couldn't make the 'A" team. Hussein apparently was a small time thinker unlike bin Laden. At 5/02/2006 10:01 AM, Mr. Ducky said...
AOW, your readers may be interested in the lead from a responsible journal like Foreign Affairs when covering a topic.
"Conflict has plagued the southern islands of the Philippines since 1566, when Spanish forces, fresh from centuries of war against Muslims in their homeland, found their traditional enemies in their new colony. Muslim ferocity and Spanish torpor combined to leave Mindanao unconquered, but the reflexive Spanish hostility toward Muslims was passed on to Christian Filipinos, and Muslims responded in kind."
They do go on to mention Qadaffi in the 70's but Hussein is absent.
At any rate I would suggest familiarizing yourself with periodicals thhat can take a wider view than your current news sources. At 5/02/2006 10:34 AM, nancsaid...
coming to a neighborhood near you, plucky - will you go softly into dhimmitude? will you renounce everything you believe and go quietly? what is it exactly you don't see regarding this threat called islam? there is no moderate islam - only those muslims like lazy christians who have not read their instruction manuals.
when they see with their own eyes what is required of them, only then do they move from the moderate stance to the radical stance - and that is so plain, so simple - CONVERT OR KILL! At 5/02/2006 10:36 AM, Mr. Ducky said...
"INTELLIGENCE SOURCES SAY VALERIE WILSON WAS PART OF AN OPERATION THREE YEARS AGO TRACKING THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS MATERIAL INTO IRAN. AND THE SOURCES ALLEGE THAT WHEN MRS. WILSON'S COVER WAS BLOWN, THE ADMINISTRATION'S ABILITY TO TRACK IRAN'S NUCLEAR AMBITIONS WAS DAMAGED AS WELL."
I'd take a look at recent releases from the grand jury and give them some weight rather than wasting time with loony conspiracy theories. At 5/02/2006 10:37 AM, Always On Watch said...
I am aware of the long-standing conflict between Muslims and Filipinos. But what's going on there now, the battle with the "new Islamofascism," dates back to 1978 or so.
the reflexive Spanish hostility toward Muslims
Historical basis for that portion of your comment. Spain lived under the boot of the Moor from 711-1492. It is a myth that all the caliphs were tolerant and, in truth, the rules of dhimmitude prevailed.
BTW, I am a Spanish major and have read loads of medieval literature from Spain, in the original Spanish. And some of the methods of the Inquistion derived from the techniques used upon the Iberians when those Iberians would not submit to Islam.
Off to work now! At 5/02/2006 11:33 AM, Mr. Ducky said...
Well nanc, maybe my rationale is something like this...there is a threat from Wahabist wackjobs.
In order to counter a threat you must think clearly and use the appropriate level of force.
This is a police and intelligence matter. Full scale military force (ineffective since World War II and a pox on all nations of the world) is not effective action. Failing to recognize the enemy and assuming it is all muslims is ineffective and wrong and allowing yourself to be led by the nose rather than giving this matter as level headed an analysis as you can is also foolish.
My own belief is that when evangelical Christians get involved they are acting from a postition of eschatology (i.e. nonsense) and a natural distaste for anything that claims to be a "truer" religion than thumper Protestantism.
I consider both parties to be threats . At 5/02/2006 11:49 AM, beakerkin said...
Has it ever crossed your mind that this is about more then Israel ?
The goal of Islam like that of Communism is global hegemony. At 5/02/2006 12:16 PM, Iran Watch said...
Can you believe that there are still people who don't believe that we are in a Global War against terrorism. Look around at all the hot spots (fighting/genocide/murdering) and in 90% of them, Islamic terrorist are at the core. At 5/02/2006 12:22 PM, Iran Watch said...
Ducky..you don't like yellow cake?
I wouldn't call Saddam Hussein a small thinker, he had a country to suppress occupying a lot of his time. At 5/02/2006 12:32 PM, Mr. Ducky said...
Beak, why did you bring up Israel? Why the fixation?
I have told you several times that I don't particularly care about israel. It's population is no more or less worthy of concern than the millions we are harming in iraq. At 5/02/2006 12:58 PM, American Crusader said...
"The millions we are harming in Iraq"
Now there's an overstatement. Most of the civilian casualties are the result of indiscriminate attacks made by insurgents not from the occasional bombing of a wrong target.
Don't get carried away by last night's game. Sox fans never seem to understand that the division isn't decided in May. At 5/02/2006 1:15 PM, the merry widow said...
Ah yes, Ducky attacks the "thumpers" again. As if there is an equivalency between mohammahdens and Christians. As there are several "thumpers" who hang out at this site, have any threatened you with beheading? Don't go back to the Inquisition now, we are discussing the present! When was the last time a Christian threatened to behead anyone? When is the last time Christians threatened or did burn down an embassy? Or threatened to roll some other nation into the sea? Hmmm? I can't hear you! When have the lives of cartoonists or artists been threatened with death? Well?
At 5/02/2006 1:16 PM, Mussolini said...
For those that don't know, the "Foreign Affairs" journal that Ducky talks about can be found here.
"Foreign Affairs" is the official website of the Council on Foreign Relations. These are the guys that excused communism, have striven to kill nationalism in all forms, and pursue an "America is the welfare provider of the world" strategy.
They support open borders, LAUGH at the millions of job losses due to manufacturing moves to foreign countries as "a few weeks of job gains in other areas," deride France (France!) for retaining too much nationalism to assimilate into the EU, and positively CROW when Israel gives up territory and shows signs of weakness.
All of the greatest leaders of our country, both democrat and republican are members of this disgusting institution. This is why I keep saying there's no damned difference in the two parties. Both bastard parties laugh at us while they steer the country further and further from the liberties the founding fathers gave us.
I DO suggest reading the CFR site. It is illustrative of the total contempt that the politicians have for the American voter. At 5/02/2006 1:17 PM, Mussolini said...
Ducky and his "thumpers" is just using the democratic playbook of blaming a core constituency of the opposing side.
Even he doesn't believe it. At 5/02/2006 1:29 PM, Mussolini said...
In fact, I'm rather surprised Ducky is adhering to "Foreign Affairs" so well. He always struck me as more independent minded - not a kool-aid drinker. At 5/02/2006 1:34 PM, Mr. Ducky said...
merry widow, the two Syrian families up the street haven't threatened to behead me either. They have offered Arabic lessons to my niece in exchange for help with English. Nice people, good neighbors.
I am aware of potential threats...a legitimate terrorist lived two streets over from me and was executed in Jordan.
I will reiterate that your delusional paranoia regarding islam is centered on a need for the extremes of Protestantism and Islam to present themselves as the one true way. Both are extremely dangerous. At 5/02/2006 1:36 PM, Mr. Ducky said...
mussolini, I try to read a spectrum of periodicals. I admit that Foreign Affairs peeved me when they were regularly publishing noted fascist Max Boot but they do a fairly good job of presenting engaging articles. At 5/02/2006 1:52 PM, Mr. Ducky said...
American Crusader, two on in the eighth and you don't have anyone who can pitch to Big Poppy? Could be a long season.
Please note that the classy fenway Faithful were throwing money at Joyhnny "Douchebag" Damon not batteries. Although I must admit that in my many trips down the cross Bronx I have never been hit with anything except food products at the stadium. At 5/02/2006 1:56 PM, Mussolini said...
Ducky, I can't help but be fascinated with Foreign Affairs, but much like I would be facinated over an extremely large, and digsuting insect.
Does it bother you that they intend to use America, through NAFTA, GATT, CAFTA, and eventually AFTA for the purposes of social welfare at OUR expense?
I see this as distinctly anti-American, and of course they are very anti-nationalist, but what happened to our leaders "defending the constitution"? The damn rotted paper is dead! At 5/02/2006 2:08 PM, Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...
I'm not certain of the equivalence you place upon the Democratic and Republican Parties. The Democratic Party has, since its inception in the early 1800s, been an organization solely dedicated to the twin goals of destroying the US Constitution and putting large numbers of dark-skinned people to death. Republicans don't have such starkly ignoble origins.
Although if 2008 comes down to a Hillary Clinton vs. John McCain contest for President, I'm probably going to stay home from the polls. I'm not anti-Hillary enough to vote for John McCain, and vice versa. At 5/02/2006 2:10 PM, Mr. Ducky said...
Well mussolini, their last couple issues have had iraq front and center.
Please remember that I am a socialist and do not get upset with the idea of social welfare. I do support a complete epeal of NAFTA and I feel it is the source of a lot of the illegal immigrant problem.
I don't not believe that nationalism has anything to do with defending the Constitution. I consider laissez-faire capitalism (the kind Jason Pappas loves, the kind that shows we haven't learned anything since 1880) to be contrary to basic rights.
Hell, iranians are nationalists. That's a good part of the problem. We blocked a democratic movement by letting Chucklenuts talk tough and stir up their nationalism. Yes, i believe nationalism is driving the bus there, not Islam. You have a population that's average age is under 35 and they aren't to keen on wahabism. At 5/02/2006 2:26 PM, Mussolini said...
Ducky: I regretted hitting "publish" because I was a bit vague.
I know you're a socialist. I know you hold to social welfare. But do you like the idea that America is being used as social welfare for OTHER countries and WE as American citizens are forced to bear the cost?
Beamish: Lincoln was the first republican president, in name, and pursued the abrogation of our constitutional rights. From the very beginning.
I hold both in equal contempt. Slight shades of domestic degree, a few taxes and abortion, do not make a difference in my book. Both republicans and democrats are growing this country as fast as they can. Even the 94 republicans, long dead, were proponents of federal government.
We have not had anyone interested in returning this country to the intent of the constitution and/or the restoration of states rights.
They're both complicit and both playing a "game" of rhetoric. With a dominant republican majority in congress and the executive, where is this country headed? Solid, accelerating federal growth.