Marwan: More Than 60 Soldiers Were Killed In An Encounter In 2007

by Joseph G. Lariosa

(Last of two parts)

CHICAGO (JGL) — In one of his email messages to his elder brother, Rahmat Abdhir, Zulkifli “Marwan” Abdhir reported to his brother battles and casualties between Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Philippine government and US involvement with use of Orion spy planes and Predator drones.
On June 30, 2006, Zulkifli emailed the battle between Philippine government and MILF, where 27 troops died, and five MILF died. “2 martyred, 20 troops died. From here, the location is about six or seven hours away on foot. The fighting is still going on until now. I can hear it from my location. It started early morning from 6 o’clock until evening. I think it has been going on for eight days now. Earlier today, a helicopter was flying back and forth over in that area. You can hear it from here.”

In his email to Rahmat, Zulkifli said, on July 4, 2006, “my friend was just telling me again that there are four martyrs now. He is in the field right now. The other day, two of my friends from here (they’re about five kilometers from my location) went out to reinforce. He wanted to join the battle.

“In the future, I want to go when there is need for reinforcement. I can’t go by myself. I must have a local guide with me. If I died as a martyr, and if there was some inheritance from the sale of dad’s land, please don’t forget about my two children here. Please don’t forget to transfer them into the same account that you’ve been using.”

In an Aug. 8, 2006 email, Zulkifli said, “If I had extra money, I think I would buy more iron because occupants of the house in front of mine do not have any. There are two or three houses around me that have no iron, the others do. There is one Moro (with) M-79 but it only has one round and even that had already been fired. Perhaps, it did not explode. The ‘j’ guy told me that there are two martyrs at his battle location and more than 30 soldiers died. There was one of them whose wife had also participated in the battle.”


The “j” probably refers to Jeremiah Islamiyah, an al-Qaeda’s Southeast Asian arm, an intricate network of Islamic extremist cells across Southeast Asia with a strong base in Indonesia. Intelligence analysts believe that al-Qaeda operatives have trained many Indonesians through the JI group in terrorist camps and JI receives ideological, financial, and logistic al support from al-Qaeda.

JI is believed responsible for the Bali bombings on October 12, 2002 in the tourist district of Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali. The attack killed 202 people (including 88 Australians, 38 Indonesians, 27 Britons, 7 Americans, 6 Swedes and 3 Danes). A further 209 people were injured.

“J” could also mean “jihadist,” who is engaged in the struggle against the infidel.

In another email, Zulkifli said, “On July 10, 2006 approximately ten days after the death of A. Hashim, one squad of Special Action Forces (SAF) Commandos, around 15 people, armed with M-4s, mini-M-60, 9mm pistols, 45 caliber pistols, night vision, and guided by government assets (spies) surrounded Lagu’s home with objective of capturing him (maybe alive).

“His house was broken into and the door got torn off. His wife and child were able to get out before the exchange of fire. Three of Lagu’s neighbors with Armalite rifles were able to assist until the attacking commandos withdrew. As a result, two commandos died,  including team leader. One M-4 Armalite, one Taurus 9mm pistol, one .45 Norincol pistol, one night vision, one led diode flashlight, two M-60 belts with 200 rounds were seized.

“Lagu was asleep already in the house, protected by Allah. The people there took all of the spoils of war. Man! The rifles were new, the latest.”


On Sept. 1, 2006, Rahmat wire transferred to Zulkifli $5,500 from Bank of America account of Rahmat to a MayBank Malaysia bank account in the name of Minah binti Aogis Abd Aziz.

On or about Sept. 30, 2006, Zulkifli sent email to Rahmat, “If you have some available, please send a little bit more. Over here people are ready to go to war. The U.S. Orion spy plane has been circling the sky around the areas here during these past 3 to 4 days.”

On or about Nov. 9, 2006, Zulkifli sent an email to Rahmat which said, “We will know whether there will be a war or not by the 16th of November that would be the deadline for the Philippine government to submit the counter proposal to the MILF. Commander  A. Wahid says that there is a soldier who wants to sell a new .50 caliber for US$5,000. He said that he can only afford $2,000 and asked to find the remaining $3000 he he. The government assets (spies) at Pikit are regular people, not commanders. Among the five assets the other day, two of them died. One died three days after the Aug. 10th incident for stealing a motorcycle. He was caught by the locals and beaten to death. The other one died around two or three days before the Raya celebration, shot by an Armalite. The shooters were friends of Lagu’s neighbors.”

On or about Feb. 9, 2007, Zulkipli sent Rahmat an email in which he told him, “Adan Abdula is the base commander of division 106. He has his left foot on the MILF, and his right foot on Datu Andal. When they have battle with Amer Umra Kato from division 105, his troops become Andal’s dogs merge with Andal’s troops. Was shot by someone..”


On or about March 6, 2007, Zulkifli sent an email to Rahmat in which he told him, “The latest update I heard was that 17 died as martyrs and more than 60 soldiers were killed. The American soldiers operated unmanned Predator spy plane, which has been hovering around more than four times above Bngla’s house. I am currently mobile, moving from one place to another.”

On or about March 7, 2007, Zulkifli sent an email to Rahmat in which he told him, “Spy planes have been hovering over this area these past two days. There is a big (U.S. Orion). There is a small one that looks like an eagle (Predator). This FM radio receiver has been picking up American voices during these past two days: “We are ready to launch. They are going to conduct joint exercise over here for two months. Do you still have the radio scanner that you used to have? How much does a set cost? The latest update is that more than twenty died as martyrs, more than 70 soldiers killed, and more than a hundred injured.”

Zulkifli and Rahmat were charged with a 9/11 inspired International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. Sections 1701-1706 (IEEPA), upon declaration of a national emergency with respect to “any unusual and extraordinary threat … to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States.” Under this law, the President of the U.S. has authority to “investigate, regulate, or prohibit” transactions involving “any property in which any foreign country or a national thereof has any interest by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.” (50 U.S.C Sections 1701-1702).

On Sept. 23, 2001, President George W. Bush, based on IEEPA, issued Executive Order No. 13224, entitled “Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons Who Commit, Threaten to Commit or Support Terrorism” to address “the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon committed on Sept. 11, 2001” and “the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on U.S. nationals or the United States.”

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