February 4, 2012

JSOC Covert Ops in the Philippines?

On the night of February 2nd, 2012, a bomb was dropped on a terrorist cell’s meeting in progress taking place in The Philippines southern Sulu Province. The resulting explosion killed three terrorist leaders as well as twelve other members of the infamous Al-Qeada associated Jemaah Islamiyah, or JI for short.

In addition to killing the terrorist leader Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir, also among the dead were “the Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf bandits, Umbra Jumdail alias Dr. Abu Pula, and a Singaporean leader in JI, Abdullah Ali, who used the guerrilla name Muawiyah,” according to the Sun Star report.


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About the Author

is an eight year Army Special Operations veteran who served as a Sniper and Team Leader in 3rd Ranger Battalion and as a Senior Weapons Sergeant on a Military Free Fall team in 5th Special Forces Group. Having left the military in 2010, he is now working towards a degree in Political Science at Columbia University. Murphy is the author of Reflexive Fire, Target Deck, the PROMIS series, and numerous non-fiction articles about Weapons, Tactics, Special Operations, Terrorism, and Counter-Terrorism. He has appeared in documentaries, national television, and syndicated radio.

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  • Zambowhite

    It wasn't a dumb bomb, it was a JDAM, ROE is that the US are the ones who input the coordinates. Phil AF gets to drop it.

  • Zambowhite

    The manila police "special" action unit, was not trained by US SOF. The lead unit for any counter terrorism action would fall to the LRB now LRR. This unit was created and trained by US SF ODA, Australian SASR, and C11. They are on the whole a highly motivated and well trained and equipped force. They are sent to hot spots down in the southern islands and the engagements they participate in have been quite positive, most recently the Zamboanga siege. Why they did not get deployed, in the manila hostage standoff was more internal politics between the local mayor and police officials all wanting to get the glory. The other issue is, having an army SOF unit deploying in the metro manila area. After that whole fiasco, the govt turned once again to the US, to train from the ranks of PNP SAF, a new SMU for hostage rescue etc. This is a fairly new undertaking, I'd say it started two years ago, and the new SMU cadre, are still inexperienced vs LRR.

  • NotSoSecretSquirrel

    Was there ever an assertion that it was a dumb bomb? I agree that a dumb bomb bullseye would be highly unlikely especially at 3am but dropping and guiding a JDAM require no special skill set and if anything an OV-10 is a better platform than most given its slow speed. There is even talk of bringing an upgraded OV-10 back into the U.S. inventory go the same reasons as a COIN platform.

  • MarineFO

    @LCpl X I was there for 6 months during the (Marcos/Aquino) revolution time era.  We did a ton of missions with the Philippine Marines and I have to agree w/ @LCpl X they are untrustworthy, under equipped and highly under trained.  I am sure their training and support went downhill fast once we pulled our base out.  I seriously doubt they could pull this off.

  • Ryshart

    I've had the good fortune to be able to travel to P.I. and several other Asian lands these past years on business. It shocked me and my business associates when the Chinese Tourist bus was taken hostage along with all it's occupants 4 or 5 years ago by a "very credible SOF units" such as the Manila Police Special Actions Unit. It was hours and hours of special police squatting next to the bus in the rain while nothing was done until the Command decided to have a Police sniper shoot up the bus. Killing the hostage taker and several tourist.  l would like to see an article on that mess and how a unit trained by the US and other allied Nations can act so indecisively and in such an un-professional manner. I can add about the operations on Sulu Island in the past 10 years when Abu-Sayef has been surrounded and then escaped, but I won't.  Read 'Imperial Grunts' by Mark Kaplan, there is an entire chapter of the US Army S/F in the P.I. and the training of Philippine 'Special Forces'. This book is about 6 years old, I hope for the Philippines sake and ours that some there is paying attention.