Chris Chapula - JOHN DOE #2
This story was printed in The Manila Times, the official agent in the Philippines that releases government information.
USA Lists 25 Int'l Terrorists Who Regularly Visit RP (Republic of the Philippines)
Date Posted: July 12 2002
Source: The Manila Times
United States intelligence officials have released the names of 25 international terrorist suspects believed to have slipped in and out of the Philippines in the last four years.
American sources, who refused to be identified, also said the US Border Patrol and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) are on the alert for these persons.
However, the use of high-quality forged travel documents and a well-funded network has made it difficult to track the movements of the suspected terror suspects�who are not all swarthy, hirsute, or of Middle Eastern descent.
In interviews with THE MANILA TIMES, American and Philippine law enforcement sources admitted that recent terror attacks, at least in this country, may not have been the handiwork of the usual suspects, meaning the mainstream Moro and communist rebel groups, or even the more traditional military rightwing groups.
In at least one case, the Dec. 30, 2000 bombings of the Light Rail Transit station and several other areas in Metro Manila police intelligence officers have found leads linking the crime to an unlikely alliance of Vietnamese exiles, right wing patrons and an obscure Muslim tribe based in Davao.
US officials, however, have tried to downplay the involvement of right wing Americans in terror attacks, believing this would undermine President George W. Bush's global campaign against terrorism.
List The US list of terrorists include: (NOTE: Name color-highlighting mine)
Christopher Hamel, American; Michael Colleto, American; Michael Abbott, American; Mark Anthony Finnigin, American; Clifford Mogg, American; Andreas Strassmeir, German. Sharon Toval, Israeli; Michael Hararior Harare, Israeli; Don Wassall, American; Ronney Lee Atkins, American; Mahylon Andrews, American; Ron Tyler, American; Kadar Kareem, undetermined; Zacarias Moussaoui, undetermined; Chris Chapula, American; Donovan St. Claire, American; Daniel Spiegelman, American; Craig Wesley Hasseltine, American; Juan Garcia Abrego, Maxican; John Bangerter, American; Hashem Alhussaini, Iraqi; Al Husseini Hssain, Iraqi; Mark Strum or Strumm, American and Mysterious German.
Little is known about the names on the list. American sources said the individuals on the list come from different organizations and additional information could jeopardize ongoing investigations.
But at least one man, the German Andreas Strassmeir, has been linked to the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
Convicted mastermind Timothy McVeigh, then 26 when the crime occurred, has been executed for the explosion that killed 169 persons, including 19 infants. His comrade, Terry Nichols, sentenced to life imprisonment, was formerly married to a Filipino.
Strassmeir was one of the men identified by Carol Howe, an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operative, as among McVeigh's contacts.
Strassmeir, described as a German illegal alien, was then living at Elohim City, the base for the Christian Identity group on the outskirts of Oklahoma.
Howe, who was then living with the group, claimed McVeigh called Strassmeir, the son of a prominent German government official, two weeks before the bombing. McVeigh was also known to visit Elohim City.
Months after the bombing, however, Strassmeir disappeared, and US prosecutors went on to declare McVeigh as a loner, who only had help from Nichols. Strassmeir and other Elihim City residents were later identified as US government assets.
The Strassmeir connection is interesting because of testimonies from old RP hands indicating Nichols and McVeigh had curious meetings in Manila and Davao with Middle Eastern nationals.
This, at around the time of the first World Trade Center bombing.
That Terry Nichols would be in the Philippines is not strange. He has an ex-wife and a wife here. That he was here with Timothy Mc Veigh and that the two of them had met with mid-Easterners and Filipino Muslims in Ermita-Malate, and in Davao City, is altogether another matter.
Tessie (surname withheld on request) frequents Woods, a restaurant on Mabini Street in Ermita. She remembered Mc Veigh when she saw his picture on a CNN newscast on the day of his execution.
She recalls being shocked. He (McVeigh) and a man named Terry used to be here all the time. Terry had a Filipina wife or girlfriend. Sometimes they would meet with Arabs and some Muslims from Mindanao. They would always sit outside. And they talked very softly in their meetings. When it was only Terry and that McVeigh they would drink beer. They were friendly.
But one time I heard this Mc Veigh say in a loud voice to an Arab and a Filipino, "That will cost lots of money." I did not know what they were talking about, but McVeigh was serious, I think, Tessie said.
Intelligence sources said both McVeigh and Nichols stayed in Iseya, a small hotel in Ermita frequented by foreign backpackers.
Woods, on other hand, is a regular gathering hole for travelers on strange byways, Philippine Immigration officials told THE TIMES.
Both establishments have received close attention from intelligence services.
Iseya Hotel's management does not remember McVeigh or Nichols. Dorothy Bacara, Iseya's hotel supervisor since its establishment, does not hide the owner's racism. In its 16 years of existence, the establishment has never served black Americans and Middle Eastern men.
Our boss, the owner of Iseya who is an Australian, instructed us not to accept blacks and Arab-looking men because according to him, blacks are kind of unruly and undisciplined customers, while Middle Eastern men are unhygienic, she told The Times.
Our boss doesn't even allow our customers to bring prostitutes here, Bacara said. He said it could affect the hotel's image.
She added the most of their clientele are Australians, white Americans and British who only spend one or two nights at the hotel.
Immigration agents confirm Bacara's statements, and say it is the reason the small hotel is popular among westerners seeking a low-profile.
Meanwhile, crew of Woods Cafe and Restaurant admitted that their customers include a motley assortment of foreigners black Americans and Arab-looking men included.
However, according to the crew who requested anonymity, they don't suspect these foreigners who just go there to have fun and enjoy the food.
We are in Ermita so it is not surprising to have a lot of foreigners coming to our restaurant, he said. But I don't believe they are members of some anti-government or paramilitary group. I think most of them are just tourists.
END MANILA TIMES STORY
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