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11 September 2012

EXCLUSIVE: YouTube, Facebook link Filipino terrorists to al-Qaeda

youtube-facebook-link-filipino-terrorists-09112012.jpga Filipino man with long hair uploaded a three-minute, 20-second video on YouTube, the world’s second largest search

engine. It was a video of himself, wearing a camouflage jacket and a mask covering his face and head. He was speaking in Arabic and asking Muslims around the world to support and contribute to the jihad in the Philippines.

Identified as Commander Abu Jihad Khalil al-Rahman al-Luzon, the man on the video called on Muslims to unite and help their brethren, saying there was “no way to restore the Islamic Caliphate and the glory of the religion but through jihad.”

It was the first of its kind for the Philippines, triggering a wave of videos, letters and audio messages from Filipino jihadists which were promoted on al-Qaeda linked sites and jihadist websites like Shumukh al-Islam and Ansar al-Mujahideen English Forum (AMEF).

They declared allegiance to al-Qaeda online and on social networks.

According to Ar-Rahmah media, an extremist Indonesian-language news portal run by the son of a Jemaah Islamiyah leader, “the Muslim jihad in the Philippines is increasingly blossoming with the arrival of mujahideen from around the world, especially al-Qaeda members.”

Intelligence sources from 3 different countries told Rappler that Abu Jihad Khalil, the man with the long hair, is 31-year old Khalil Pareja, a Christian convert to Islam who took over the leadership of the Rajah Solaiman Movement (RSM) in 2005.

RSM worked closely with the Abu Sayyaf (ASG) and Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), al-Qaeda’s arm in Southeast Asia. Their alliance carried out at least two attacks: the Superferry bombing in 2004, one of the world’s worst maritime terrorist attacks and the second most lethal in Southeast Asia since the 2002 Bali bombing; and the Valentine’s Day bombings in 2005 – two near-simultaneous explosions in General Santos City and Davao City, followed an hour later by an explosion on a bus in Makati.

A Philippine intelligence report obtained and verified by Rappler said that Pareja not only posted jihadi materials on YouTube, he was also active on Facebook – a case study of how one man can connect jihadists and terrorists from multiple countries through social media.

About a month before he posted his YouTube video, Pareja told authorities he joined the Arabic Student Forum on Facebook. Several of the members asked him if he knew Abu Jihad, but he said he was cautious about security. Then he received a private message (PM) from a man who introduced himself as Gerald. They became friends and started chatting regularly.

Over time, Gerald told Pareja he was a member of al-Shabaab, Islamist militants who control much of southern Somalia. The relationship between al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda dates back to the 1990’s

09:29 Posted in PHILIPPINES | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

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