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Philippines Says Finds More Al Qaeda Money Trail

The Philippines has discovered more funding links between al Qaeda and homegrown Muslim militants since the arrest of a Middle East-based Filipino student, counter-terrorism officials said on Friday. The 40-year-old student had been sending money from Saudi Arabia to the Philippines, where it had been used by the Abu Sayyaf militant groups to launch bomb attacks and buy weapons and equipment, Defense Secretary Eduardo Ermita told reporters. The announcement came a week after Ermita said security forces had uncovered a funding link between al Qaeda and regional terror group Jemaah Islamiah following the arrest in southern Mindanao island of a suspected JI financier. “We discovered that the Abu Sayyaf may be getting its money, weapons and logistics from al Qaeda,” said Ermita. The Abu Sayyaf group has been linked to several bomb attacks in Mindanao, the country’s Muslim heartland, although it became more notorious for kidnapping tourists for ransoms. Full Story

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