Tuesday, September 18, 2012

No threat vs American troops in Mindanao over anti-Islam film

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – There is no threat against American troops providing anti-terrorism training and assistance to their Filipino counterparts in Mindanao amid calls from al-Qaeda terrorists to attack US targets over an anti-Islam film, a military official said yesterday. Lt. Col. Randolf Cabangbang, spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command, said they have not received information of impending threat from any terror group. Cabangbang said around 600 US servicemen were deployed in this city, Basilan and Sulu on a rotation basis to assist and train Filipino troops under the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines. He added that heightened security is not needed for American troops assigned here, unlike the civilian personnel and diplomats in US embassies. “Security for them is already builtin. They have their force protection program,” he said. Cabangbang said the US soldiers continue with their regular visits to the field, where they are requested to conduct the anti-terror training. “They do not go out without their Filipino counterparts,” he said. He said Muslim clerics in the service also go out to explain to the Muslim community that terrorism is not the way of Islam. - By Roel Pareño