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Old Wednesday 1st February 2012, 22:17   #1
Xenospiza
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Two birders kidnapped in Tawi-Tawi

For those of you who think Sulu is an interesting place to visit (after Rob Hutchinson's trip to the Sulu Hornbill maybe?)... you might want to reconsider:
http://mindanaoexaminer.blogspot.com...ographers.html

The Dutchman is apparently one of the top taxidermists in the Netherlands.

Time to start collecting a few million dollars.
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Old Wednesday 1st February 2012, 22:34   #2
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For those who aren't familiar, this is in the Phillipines. Here is an excerpt from the article:
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the abduction, but Abu Sayyaf militants are known to operate in the province where they kidnapped a Malaysian fish trader Pang Choon Pong in October last year and is still being held in captivity.

Abu Sayyaf militants also kidnapped two Malaysian seaweed farm workers Vui Chung, 42, and his cousin Lai Wing Chau, 33, in Tawi-Tawi in February 2010 and were freed later in the same year after their families paid some 2 million ringgits.

The group tied to al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya had also kidnapped 21 mostly Western holidaymakers in Sabah’s resort island of Sipadan in 2001 and brought them by boat to the southern Philippines. The hostages were then ransomed off to Malaysia and Libya - which negotiated for their release - for millions of dollars.

The Abu Sayyaf is still holding another Malaysian lizard trader, an Indian national, a Japanese man, an Australian citizen and three Filipinos in the restive region. (With a report from Ely Dumaboc)
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Old Thursday 2nd February 2012, 00:57   #3
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Does make you wonder what countries' special forces are for really.....
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Old Thursday 2nd February 2012, 10:37   #4
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Does make you wonder what countries' special forces are for really.....
Stealing other countries oil?

In all seriousness though I agree. Send in the pros and root them out.

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Old Thursday 2nd February 2012, 12:11   #5
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Couldn't agree more Owen. All that crap with the Somali pirates- send in the SBS?? Nah, pay them the millions...that'll stop them doing it again! Ridiculous (nearly as ridiculous as giving India billions in foreign aid.......)
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Old Thursday 2nd February 2012, 12:25   #6
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If it was me though....pay the money!!
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Old Thursday 2nd February 2012, 12:45   #7
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Couldn't agree more Owen. All that crap with the Somali pirates- send in the SBS?? Nah, pay them the millions...that'll stop them doing it again! Ridiculous (nearly as ridiculous as giving India billions in foreign aid.......)
Bullets are cheap!

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Old Friday 3rd February 2012, 10:37   #8
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Yep. these special forces would better care for their own citizens first - oil can wait.
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Old Friday 3rd February 2012, 12:15   #9
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Couldn't agree more Owen. All that crap with the Somali pirates- send in the SBS?? Nah, pay them the millions...that'll stop them doing it again! Ridiculous (nearly as ridiculous as giving India billions in foreign aid.......)
I seem to recall they sent in Delta Force against the Somalis a few years back. The result: a downed Black Hawk, a hollywood blockbuster staring Ewan McGregor, several thousand Somali casualties - many of them civilians and a shift in US Foreign Policy.

Almost 20 years later and nothing much has changed there.
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Old Friday 3rd February 2012, 12:33   #10
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I seem to recall they sent in Delta Force against the Somalis a few years back. The result: a downed Black Hawk, a hollywood blockbuster staring Ewan McGregor, several thousand Somali casualties - many of them civilians.
To be fair, they don't balls up every time - they also did the same a week ago, the result two hostages successfully rescued from interior Somalia, seven kidnappers dead, no civilians affected.
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Old Friday 3rd February 2012, 13:16   #11
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I seem to recall they sent in Delta Force against the Somalis a few years back. The result: a downed Black Hawk, a hollywood blockbuster staring Ewan McGregor, several thousand Somali casualties - many of them civilians and a shift in US Foreign Policy.

Almost 20 years later and nothing much has changed there.
They started using Chuck Norris after that....

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Old Friday 3rd February 2012, 13:24   #12
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guide escapes
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...0ca7b1f743aaa7

Special forces can be good but are people willing to take the risk? Many hostages have died in special force rescue operations. Easier to ask for special forces when it isn't a member of your family that is a hostage.

The Philippine army and special forces have received training and aid for fighting the Abu Sayyaf by CIA and others for many years. There are several hundred American military personal in the region, some involved in training. Abu Sayyaf might be pressured but nothing indicates they are pressured to a point where their threat can be considered neglible. The special forces of the Netherlands are among the best in the world. I'm just not sure their deployment would change anything in this case.

To really do something about Somali pirates you would need a very large operation. Of a scale that almost certainly would mean some casualties on the hostage/special forces side. Neither the video of dead American soldiers being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu nor the public reaction to it has been forgotten by military leaders and politicians. And who would pay the operation? The ransoms are mainly from private firms, not the governments that would pay the military operation. In the long term I believe a major operations against Somali pirates would be the best thing to do but realistically the chance that any country would be willing to do it is close to zero. Small operations that rescue a few hostages held in small towns or outback environs yes. Small operations that rescue a few hostages held in cities or big operations that really could change the Somali pirate threat no.

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they also did the same a week ago, the result two hostages successfully rescued from interior Somalia, seven kidnappers dead, no civilians affected.
Not really comparable to the 1993 Mogadishu mission. City with many civilians and enemy combatants vs. in a desert with no civilians nearby and less than a dozen enemy combatants.
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Old Friday 3rd February 2012, 13:33   #13
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To really do something about Somali pirates you would need a very large operation.
If it was to be done land-based. A policy to simply sink all pirate vessels encountered would be a start.
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Old Friday 3rd February 2012, 14:16   #14
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As for pirate infested islands, a good way to start will be an Iwo Jima-style naval bombardment.
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Old Friday 3rd February 2012, 16:38   #15
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Addressing the causes of piracy might not go wrong.
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Old Friday 3rd February 2012, 16:41   #16
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not directly related to the abduction but if confirmed Abu Sayyaf lost a leader yesterday
http://news.yahoo.com/philippines-hu...144550287.html
Abu Sayyaf is a nasty group, even by terrorist group standards. Let's hope the claim by some media that the abduction was by ordinary criminals is true.
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Old Saturday 18th February 2012, 11:07   #17
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It is difficult to draw parallels with the sort of terrain to be found in Somalia, and that which is still to be found in southern Palawan, Tawi-Tawi, and others of the Sulu Is. chain.
Unless people are prepared to mount a Vietnam-style Agent Orange defoliation campaign complete with Napalm and an excess of Philippine special forces and regulars, then anyone wishing to go in to certain areas should do so only with a small, and well-equipped private army. Of course, if someone really wanted to lay waste to the place just to root out the bad guys, well, we can also forget about any talk of the conservation of the unique biota.

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Old Saturday 18th February 2012, 15:06   #18
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Addressing the causes of piracy might not go wrong.
Tough on piracy, tough on the causes of piracy?
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Old Saturday 18th February 2012, 20:56   #19
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If it was to be done land-based. A policy to simply sink all pirate vessels encountered would be a start.
With you on that. Just declare a three-mile limit on AK47s etc and blow away any armed dhows outside it. Until the pirates start using navy surplus submarines simple air patrols by armed drones could handle the business.

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Old Saturday 18th February 2012, 23:38   #20
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I hope they are freed asap unharmed. Must be very difficult to cope with being kidnapped. The uncertainty and not knowing what is being said outside must be very stressful. I have no idea what militant groups hope to achieve by kidnapping innocent civilians. Wont they be better focusing their eyes on the Bushes and Blairs? I know they are inaccessible. Sad how in any conflict the vast majority of those who suffer are common ordinary harmless citizens.

Whenever I visit my parents country of origin, Pakistan, I do go birding and that to some remote areas. The danger of being kidnapped is present in some areas. One of my friends is a writer and he says that the money people pay as ransom is often used to fund "terrorist" activity. Gangs specialise in this sort of activity and then raise some money out of it. Some of the security agencies over there are in co-hoots with the terrorists and despite the size and being nuclear, quite ineffective.

No one asks to be kidnapped but if you do do visit an area where there is a bit of a history of it then you are playing with fire.

The world in an unjust place and there are far too many problems which very few want to fix and some are getting worse. Many nice locations are out of bounds and many more will join the list too.

Anyway let us hope there is good news.
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Old Saturday 18th February 2012, 23:46   #21
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Any news?
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Old Sunday 19th February 2012, 11:38   #22
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No news according to the waarneming.nl-forum.
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Old Thursday 31st May 2012, 20:58   #23
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News from 24 May is that the kidnappers are demanding 50 million peso (just over $ 1 million) for the release of the westerners they kidnapped. I don't know if this is per person or for the whole lot, but I assume the first.
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Old Saturday 9th June 2012, 10:21   #24
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Here is an article in English about the ransom demand
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx...bCategoryId=63
This is an earlier video in Filipino not long after the kidnap:
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/video...y-na-hinahanap
There is some unique video of the Tawi Tawi endemics at the end.
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Old Friday 23rd November 2012, 21:11   #25
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Three marines were killed in a rescue attempt in late October (http://www.bworldonline.com/content....ayyaf&id=60713).
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