The young and dashing ALBADER PARAD has been portrayed as the leader of the Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom gang still holding two Red Cross workers hostage on the island of Jolo in Sulu province. But this made-for-TV jihadi is not really the most dangerous terrorist personality involved here, for there are also several high value Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist leaders with multimillion dollar bounties on their heads who are believed to be running with and controlling the Parad gang and who may now be bottled up in a tightly watched and guarded area along with their two hostages, and fifty heavily armed gun men:
[GMA TV News] Jemaah Islamiyah militants led by Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir also known as Marwan is believed to be among the Abu Sayyaf holding the hostages. Twos, more JI terrorists Dulmatin and Umar Patek are also said to be hiding in Sulu.
Zulkifli, who also heads the Kumpulun Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM), was believed to be involved in multiple deadly bomb attacks in the Philippines and has been added to most-wanted list of the U.S. Rewards for Justice Program.
The U.S. offered as much as $5-million bounty for the capture of Zulkifli and other known Abu Sayyaf leaders, while Dulmatin carries a $10-million reward on his head and $1-million for Patek. Manila also put aside P100-million bounties for the capture of Abu Sayyaf leaders dead or alive.
The one-armed bandit, Radulan Sahiron is also reportedly part of this motley crew of murderers. I think this may explain recent reports of heavy US and Australian support for Philippine forces dealing with the hostaging crisis, which has gained high profile international attention. Not only is this ongoing hostaging of Red Cross workers a violation of Philippine and International Humanitarian Law, there is every reason to hope these dangerous mass murderers and sociopaths will be brought to justice for their dastardly crimes against humanity.
Because no ransom has been forthcoming from the ICRC, including a purported demand for $5 million, the fear is that, today or tomorrow, the bandits could saw off the heads of Andreas Notter and Eugenio Vagni and put the video on the Abu Sayyaf's YouTube fundraising channel. But could the gang and its internationally wanted terrorist leaders then just disappear and escape?
That remains to be seen, but I think the only thing now keeping the two hostages alive must be the uncertainty of escape in the minds of the Abu Sayyaf leaders should they behead them. They must know that they are now being tracked not only by Philippine police and military authorities, but also by the US and Australia, who've been after these particular JI leaders for years. Hopefully every high tech intelligence means to watch their every move in real time
The Door of Observation is momentarily ajar on a classic Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom situation, but with one difference--no ransom appears to be forthcoming. In such a situation, where the hostage takers are threatening to behead their captives, what ought the authorities to do? Surely it is NOT to comply with the demand to open up a path for escape [sic!] On the contrary I think the authorities must make escape impossible and make it crystal clear that AS SOON AS the terrorists make a move to kill or harm their hostages, an attempt to defend and rescue those hostages will instantly be launched and measures taken to prevent such action, including the forceful neutralization of any suspect who does not immediately surrender.
There is a lesson in both principles and tactics that we can learn from the US Navy Seals in the successful rescue of an American sea captain from Somali pirates. In that instance, the ability to know in real time what the kidnappers were doing or intending to do was essential to taking the action that freed that hostage. He could just as easily have ended up dead of course, but for the skill and good luck of those three snipers. However, it also sends an important message to future pirate-kidnappers of a kind of "mutually assured destruction" should they they decide to kill their hostages. The authority to act in defense of hostages that are adjudged to be in imminent danger of being seriously harmed or killed, had been given to the commander on the ground by President Barack Obama, and the successful outcome has been credited to his leadership as well as to the professionalism of the US Navy personnel involved.
I think this is applicable to the Sulu hostage crisis.