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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.

To comment on this article please join/login. Here's a sample of the comments on this post.

  • 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.

  • traumamama

    What I like about those "Quiet Professionals" out there (of whatever flavor); they do things quietly.

  • Corps Hornet Driver

    "Who, or what guided it to its target?"   A PI OV-10C, I hardly think so.   A MQ-9 with a GBU-39/B JDAM would do the trick quite nicely. Now who flies those things against a target such as the one destroyed in Sulu Province?   One can only guess...   As far as verification of target(s) for weapon release, well, once again we can only guess.

  • Karlo Espiritu

    Just to add, the Phil Air Force has the capability to use precision guided weapons using OV10s even before that fateful day in Feb.   http://www.timawa.net/forum/index.php?topic=30346.0   http://www.timawa.net/forum/index.php?topic=30346.30   It is highly likely indeed, that Americans were present on ground the ground too to. But to answer some posts 8 months ago, we (the Pinoys) have very credible SOF units in all the three branches (and the National Police too). They are all very experienced since they've been fighting this war for a long time. And despite the lack of some equipment or other support that could've made a difference in combat, alot of time they (SOF) came through. The Pinoy SOFs and the AFP establishment in particular did learn alot from the Americans especially in the C3 level which made the employment of SOF units more efficient and effective in the past 10 or so years.   But whether Americans, Aussies, Brits, or Filipinos, they have one goal, one enemy. And like what was said in one of the articles here, one team, one fight.   Cheers!