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Southeast Asia
JI man's death 'mere setback'
2003-10-13
The death of escaped terrorist Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi in the southern Philippines on Sunday is more a 'tactical setback' than a crippling blow to Jemaah Islamiah (JI), analysts and security experts said.
When you add one "tactical setback" after another together, they eventually add up to a "crippling blow."
His loss is significant as he is one of the top JI operatives, but there are many just as skilled and lethal who can replace him, said Colonel Rodolfo Mendoza of the Philippine National Police.
Just off the top of your head — who?
'You can say his death, and the capture of Hambali, wounded rather than crippled JI,' he added.
Having your jaw blown off is being wounded. It's not even necessarily lethal.
Al-Ghozi's death closed an embarrassing chapter for the Philippines, criticised as the 'weakest link' in Asia's war on terror following his escape from the high-security national police headquarters three months ago.
"Weakest link" is a relative thing. Prior to the Bali bombings, Indonesia was the weakest link.
Dr Domingo Non, a professor of Muslim history at the Mindanao State University, said JI's organisational set-up makes 'any member dispensable'.
On the other hand, dispensing with some of them is more inconvenient for the group than dispensing with others...
'JI is composed of hundreds of members, many of them sleepers. The organisation continuously trains its members so it's not a problem,' he said.
Lop off the head, the body dies. Even if it's a hydra...
Professor Rizal Buendia, who has studied Muslim movements in South-east Asia, said: 'Obviously, one man's death is not enough to claim victory over JI.'
But nabbing Hambali and bumping off al-Ghozi damages it more than nabbing Mahmoud and bumping off Ahmed, both of them cannon fodder.

Posted by:Fred Pruitt

#2  "It's just a flesh wound...a mere scratch."

"Your arm's off!"

"No, it's not...Come back here...I'll bite your knees off!"

/john cleese
Posted by: Seafarious   2003-10-13 9:37:50 PM  

#1  These guys are desparate to make them sound like perfectly cross-trained superhuman Izzoid warriors. Pfeh. Campaigning for funding and job security. They're a mob of disaffected screwed-up half-wits. Paraphrasing Twain... There's not a Col. Sherburn in the lot... and if ya wanna take on a man, even a mob needs to fetch a man along.
Posted by: .com   2003-10-13 8:55:28 PM  

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