Usama bin Laden and his Philippine Connection

As I am sure every reader knows, Usama bin Laden is dead.  He deserved it, many times over.  The only thing that could have made me happier is if it had happened sooner than it did.  I must say, I was a bit dismayed by the way some of my countrymen celebrated rather than simply honored those who lost their lives at the hands of bin Laden, but that is not what this article is about.

So, what is this article about,then, and what does it have to do with the Philippines?  Well, perhaps you didn’t know, but Usama bin Laden, and his Al Qaeda terror network have a number of Philippine Connections.

Usama bin Laden

Usama bin Laden

The most famous of bin Laden’s connections to the Philippines, of course, is the Abu Sayyaf Filipino terrorist group, which is basically the arm of Al Qaeda in the Philippines.  Additionally, Al Qaeda and Usama bin Laden have been linked to the Indonesian terror group, Jemah Islamiya, which also operates in parts of Mindanao.  Abu Sayyaf has primarily been a Kidnap group over the years, but has also carried out some bombings over the years as well.  It was Abu Sayyaf that was responsible for the kidnapping of American Missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham in 2000, resulting in the death of Martin Burnham.

Back in 2002, there was a terrorist attack in the Indonesian resort city of Bali, and it was carried out by Jemah Islamiya.  The attack was reportedly coordinated by a fellow named Umar Patek.  Patek is an Indonesian who is a member of Jemah Islamiya/Al Qaeda.  After the Bali bombings, Patek fled to Mindanao and lived in Mindanao until recently.  A few months ago, he went to Pakistan, though, and was caught about 2 months ago in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  Do you know where bin Laden was living?  In Abbottabad.  Hmm.. it would seem to me that perhaps Patek was in Abbottabad to coordinate with bin Laden, or meet with him for some other reason, don’t you think?  In fact, there is some speculation that after Patek’s arrest, it is possible that he gave up information that helped pinpoint bin Laden’s hideout.  So, a Philippine Connection to bin Laden that may have lead to his downfall.

Bin Laden Store in Sultan Kudarat, Sharif Kabungsuwan

Bin Laden Store in Sultan Kudarat, Sharif Kabungsuwan

Another bin Laden terrorist cohort with a Philippine connection was Ramzi Yousef.  Yousef was responsible for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.  Yousef lived in the Philippines for a number of years, and actually did hijacking and bombing testing on Philippine airplanes before launching attacks!  Additionally, Yousef was the nephew of Khalid Sheik Mohammad, Al Qaeda’s number 3.

Another thing that I do know as well is that if you go to some parts of Mindanao, particularly in the ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao), many people considered bin Laden a hero of sorts.  One time, a few years ago, I was in the town of Sultan Kudarat (not Sultan Kudarat Province) in the Province of Sharif Kabungsuwan, just outside of Cotabato City.  As I was driving, I saw a small store along the highway that caught my eye.  It was quite a bit nicer than the other Sari-Sari stores that I ran across in the area.  When I noticed the name of the store, I just had to stop and take a picture – Bin Laden Store.  See the photo above at the left!

Finally, there is one bin Laden connection to the Philippines which has been rumored for years, but so far I have not been able to get any actual hard evidence.  I have heard for years that one of bin Laden’s wives is a Filipina from Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.  Like I say, I don’t know if this is true, but I have heard it so many times that it either is, or has made it’s way into Filipino folklore over the years.  Have you ever heard anything like this?

Goodbye, Usama.  We won’t miss you.

Post Author: MindanaoBob (936 Posts)

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.

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Comments

  1. David L Smith says

    Hi Bob
    Seems like he had a few friends amongst the Pakistan Military as his hide out was was only 700 meters from a military base. Some serious questions must be answered by the Pakistan goverment on this issue.

    • says

      You sure are right on that one, David! I see no way that a guy could live in that house with 18 foot walls and nobody knew who lived there! I really believe that the Pakistanis were protecting UBL.

    • Ricardo Sumilang says

      You ever heard of the term, “frenemy”, David? I guess it’s safe to assume that while official Pakistan appears to be on the U.S. side against the war on terrorism, unofficial Pakistan, on the other hand, may be sleeping with America’s enemy.

      • Papa Duck says

        Ricardo, Bob

        I think you are right. I think they need to reconsider alot of the 2 billion dollars a year of aid they send to Pakistan. You just can’t trust Pakistan. Thats why they were not told of the operation. That place sticks out like a sore thumb. They say its a million dollar home? Theres no way it is worth anywhere close to a million dollars. Take Care

  2. scott hegerle says

    Since I am still in the Army, thought I would let you know the latest joke making the rounds of the orderly rooms. The Seal Team that made the hit was Seal Team 6 out of Norfork VIRGINIA.

    So instead of the expected 72 Virgins, poor Usama got 40 VIRGINIANS instead.

  3. Louie says

    Hi Bob,
    Nice article. As strange as it may seem, there were and probably still exist people that will idolize bin Laden. I had written a much longer post but had to back down since these groups are still splinters of the whole, and would not want anything coming back. Unfortunate we live in a world where the separation of classes, whether it be financially, socially, or religiously will still drive hatred.

    • says

      Hi Louie – I don’t find it strange at all that there are people who idolize UBL. Heck, there are still people who idolize Hitler, after all! :wink:

  4. brian says

    Glad he’s dead, but I’d say that about anyone who had such a disregard for human life as he did. I can understand hatred, but when it blinds you to the point that all life is expendable for your hatred than you have become an animal that needs to be put down.

  5. says

    Yes, Oliver. In fact, there is a connection between Pope John Paul II and UBL too, in that it was Al Qaeda who plotted to kill the Pope here in the Philippines.

  6. Raphael says

    I don’t know Usama Bin Laden and never heard of him… but I heard Osama Bin Laden on the radio and TV news…

      • says

        Wikipedia has his full name as “Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden.” I think from now on his “new” full name will be: “Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden bin dead”!

        Sorry Bob, just had to throw that little tidbit in here…

        • says

          I would not necessarily consider Wikipedia as a more authoritative source the the US Federal Government. However, I personally believe that either spelling is acceptable. However, Raphael was being a bit smart, so I felt that I gave him an appropriate response.

          • Raphael says

            I was not rude. I was just stating the fact that I don’t know Usama. Everytime I watch thenews news, it has always been Osama and not Usama. So if you think I am rude, that’s ok. I am
            a fan of this site but not a fan of you.

            • says

              I am sorry, Raphael, but I felt that the way you addressed me was quite rude, implying that I was stupid and you were the authority on the spelling of bin Laden’s name. I personally don’t think I addressed you rudely, I said you were ignorant, which you were on the matter. Ignorance is not a put down or a slam, it just means that you are not educated on the particular topic, which obviously you weren’t, as you admitted that you did not know of “Usama bin Laden”. You are probably one of the few people on earth who has never heard of UBL. AT least now you are educated and no longer ignorant on the subject.

              • Raphael says

                Let me just quote you Bob, “You are probably one of the few people on earth who has never heard of UBL”.
                I bet, many readers from this site were not aware of the real name of bin laden… as what Rich321 tried to back me up…
                Honestly, this was my first time encountering that name… and you might be correct that i am ignorant but won’t agree if you say I am one of the few… That’s exaggeration man! Which you are good at… :)

              • says

                Raphael – I believe that nearly every person except for you would read the article, see the photos and realize that Usama is just a different spelling than Osama, and connect the fact that the two names are the same person. I believe that you made the connection, but wanted to be funny or rude in implying that I don’t know how to spell. That is how I took your remark. You can say what you want, but that is how it came across. I simply pointed out that you were ignorant of the fact that several different spellings of the name are acceptable, and that the US Government uses the same spelling that I used in the article.

                I do not believe that any further discussion of this is necessary, or wanted.

  7. says

    bin Laden Filipina wife?? Wonder if he picked her out of one of those mail-order bride catalog and just how did she manage a Visa to leave the Philippines?? I doubt if he flew over and came thru NAIA for a two week face-to-face meeting!

    • says

      Hi Rich – Remember, bin Laden was not a US citizen, so there is no reason why he would have had to follow US immigration law. He was a Saudi. Does Saudi law require a 2 week face to face meeting? Also, if you are in Saudi Arabia and have enough money.. I’m pretty sure you can get a visa for a wife to come. It is my understanding that the bin Laden family is among the richest in the Kingdom.

      • Jun Trinidad says

        Hi Bob,

        Unless I’m mistaken, UBL was stripped of his Saudi citizenship by the Saudi a few years back after the 9/11 or was it before? Anyway, you’re right, his family is among the richest in the country and get anyone into the country with their money and connections. UBL was bombed out of Bora-Bora and crossed to Pakistan without a passport and visa. He can practically go anywhere in any muslim country without it.

        • says

          Hi Jun – Yes… the incident that I was talking about with UBL having a Filipina wife happened way before 9/11, so he was still a Saudi citizen at the time. But, you are right… I think the passport was not really needed for him to go to Pakistan! :lol:

  8. Ron LaFleur says

    Bob and all the rest of the American Ex-Pats would be wise to lay low for a while. You never know whats coming in the form of reprisals and there are as you stated Bob a lot of his followers in Mindanao.

    • says

      Hi Ron – Yes, we should be on the lookout and keep a low profile, but you should too. Don’t forget that there are terrorist attacks in the US as well!

  9. says

    When the gross photo of his head with the gunshot wound is released (and it will be…) the sheet is going to hit the fan as it will not be a pretty sight. People in real life do not die cleanly like they do in the movies.

    • says

      Hi Rich – I believe that the US government is really in a catch 22 on the picture thing. If they don’t release it people won’t believe it’s true. If they do release it, it will certainly anger many and possibly produce additional attacks. Tough call. For me, though… I want to see it. I believe he is dead, but I just feel a need to see it.

      • peterjoy says

        come on boys u must know what the CIA IS LIKE IF THAY GOT HIM IS HE DEAD OR LOCKED UP FOR THEM TO KILL HILL SLOWLY GETING ALL THAY CAN OUT OFF HIM BE FOR HE DIES……..PETER MARTIN TASSIE

        • brian says

          Its possible he’snot dead, think of the immense information source he would be, CIA ,M56 would love to have him for a few months,and personally I hope they do. Dead? most likely..for I think Bin Laden would rather die by his own hand before capture. Insofar of the photo…I think its better if they don’t release it for a year or two..could have repercussions.

          • says

            I have thought of scenarios where he was taken alive and is being held… but I tend to believe he is dead, though. I don’t particularly want to see the photos as proof of death. Just morbid curiosity, I suppose.

            • David Severn says

              Hello All, I firmly believe Osama is dead, as I met with a individual right after it happened in Davao, who has that kind of information and is stationed in Italy. Not only was Osama killed the guys in the special forces were immediately retired, never to divulge anything of the incident in their lifetime. The President did not even know the names of the special forces group.

              • Ricardo Sumilang says

                My personal opinion is that when the Commander-in-Chief himself is kept in the dark about what must be considered by the military as TOP SECRET, not to mention the fact that the members of the SEAL who carried out the operation were “immediately retired, never to divulge anyting of the incident in their lifetime”, what do you make of the individual who gave you this information?

  10. chris says

    Hi bob ,horray he is gone and a more fitting end could not have been given ,damb his followers and all they represent the ammount of lives that have been lost at the hands of this madman is terrible, now they have to get no2 and three and so on until the whole lot are either encarserated ar dead ,i have nothing against the muslim faith everone is entitled to worship whom ever they wish but i despise those who would corupt the teachings of the karan to serve there own demented purpose,here in australia we have a fellow who is a cleric and was on 60minutes ,saying he hated the west and democrocy and that australia would one day be a muslim nation ,the democracy that he so hates gives him the freedom to express his veiws without retaliation from the law or government ,what a crock of s…… if i had my way i would send him to one of his radical islamic states and leave him there ,it makes it bad for normal everyday muslims who have come to our country in search of a better life who love being australians and the life they have .Now my biggest fear is of retaliaton towards your nation and others who have been involved in this situation over the years only time will tell i suppose but god help any muslim that rejoices should there be any more attacks for the retribution i beleive will be unforgiving this time .
    chris

    • says

      Hi Chris – It seems that over the years they have taken out the number 3 man time after time! It’s a dangerous position! Ayman al Zawahiri is #2, and he has been hard to find, as UBL was. I hope they catch him soon!

      I agree with you, it’s a good time to watch out for the retaliation.. it will surely be attempted!

    • Ricardo Sumilang says

      Not to preempt Bob, the romanization of Arabic script results in the variations of spelling of Arabic names and words because they are spelled phonetically. For instance, “Moammar Gaddafi” is sometimes spelled “Muammar Khaddafy”. “Usama” is just another spelling variation of “Osama”. There is no right or wrong spelling, as long as the name is spelled as it sounds, apparently.

      • Mars Z. says

        Hi Guys, both spelling are used inter-changeably-OSAMA or USAMA. Early on after 9/11, the name USAMA was used but the agencies decided to stick to “O” because of the acronym sometimes used by the Military Academies as United States of America Military Academies to not give Osama credit.

  11. peterjoy says

    HI BOB
    YES it is good that scum is dead but no it wont stop the killing as there is a 100 more scum just like him out there justing to take over saddly will it ever end it would be nice if it would all end here with him but no it wont…………peter martin tassie

    • brian says

      I like the way General ‘Black Jack” Persing dealt with it….when they captured 5 Muslim snipers he took 4 bullets out of a tin can that had pig grease in it…shot 4 of them and let the 5th one go….the sniping stopped. So the story goes.

    • Jim Hannah says

      I’m not sure quite how people can imagine that seeing a picture of him dead will offer them much confirmation. I could manufacture a picture of him dead within the next few minutes if I had to, as could many people with Photoshop and the skills to use it.

      Personally, I believe he is dead, because it cannot be a mistake…they have DNA from his family…and if it turned out to be a lie, well, you can imagine the recriminations of that.

      Like you Bob, I am disappointed to see his death being celebrated as it is being; rather it is a time to remember the victims of his regime.

        • Papa Duck says

          Bob

          I believe i read that one of bin ladens daughters told the Pakistani government that the Americans killed bin laden, also bin ladens wife yelled his name as she charged one of the members of the assault team. So i think that is more proof that he is dead.

    • Biz Doc says

      hi bob,

      this reminds me of obama’s americanized first name. the middle eastern spelling is barak.

      it’s said though that he got a lot of irish votes. they thought his surname was O’ Bama ” )

      cheers,

  12. rebecca Ferry says

    Hi! Bob,
    i also heard about UBL’s supposed pinay’s wife but i didn’t see any photos of her in any media outlet but i hope that’s not true.

    • says

      Hi rebecca – I really wonder if it is true. I have been told about this many, many times over the years. They say that she is from Marawi, but I’ve never seen any confirmation.

  13. says

    Hi John – I too am glad that justice has been served. Although I only saw the 9/11 attacks on TV (I was in Manila at the time), it is an image I will never forget!

  14. dans says

    bob,

    the terrorists member do not need usama or al-Zawahiri to terrorize people, usama’s death will not stop them from committing their terrorist act, it will not hamper their operation to continue their evil deeds.

      • dans says

        bob,

        in my opinion, usama being alive is much better than being dead, don’t get me wrong, if what the US government tells us is true that usama has the ultimate authority to command the terrorist around the world, at least him being alive can “control” the terrorist attacks, and now that he is dead, anyone from his group could simply do whatever they wanted to do without following orders. – and of course, I can only speculate on the matters, we really don’t know yet if there will be a ramification, his death could stop all terrorist activities or worst could fuel their passion to commit more terror!

        • says

          Hi dans – We’ll see what develops. I don’t think it will take too long for Al Qaeda to put another name on the top, most likely Aiman al Zawahiri, I’d guess.

  15. says

    He died already last 2005 according to Pakistani friend. They said, hes not in the operation anymore after the 9/11 beacuse of his deteriorating health {kidney problem}. Hes a symbol to their terrorist group and there still a lot of masterminds. I am scared if they will retaliate and innocent people will be a victim again. When would be war of power will end? Everybody is hungry of power, and keep peace on their way of thinking.

  16. says

    Hi Mimi – I do not believe he died in 2005. In fact since then he has released a number of audio and video tapes on the internet, many of which even addressed events that happened after 2005.

  17. says

    I wish that they let all the whole world see the dead body of UBL so that i could hold the hope thats in my heart that someway somehow is quite peaceful in our country but as of now i wont believe

  18. says

    Bob me too it wont end but i think it will less or more terrorism, it will be less if the minds of the person replace UBL has a heart and open minded, and think of innocent people and futures of their members.and it will be more if the person who will replace UBL full of revenge.selfishness, angry and aim for power. we hope for the best of the effect of it.

    • Papa Duck says

      Bob

      To be honest, i don’t think things will change. I read that they think Al Zawahiri has been the one running Al Queda anyway the last few years. Hopefully i’m wrong.

  19. Greg says

    Thanks for this site Bob. I really do enjoy reading all the different viewpoints.
    For what it’s worth I’ll throw in my two cents.
    There is no disputing that terrible day back on Sept 11/2001.
    Many innocent people lost their lives.
    What is disputed are the many details concerning the attack and a never ending list of other questions that have never fully been addressed in the proper forum.
    What we do know is this…
    In the spirit of revenge the U.S Government launched their own war on terror.
    In doing so HUNDREDS of thousands of innocent people lost their lives.
    Many others were tortured and detained without due cause.
    All of this is sadly forgotten in our twisted search for justice.
    Could it be that the so called cure turned out to be much worse than the cause?
    Perhaps not if you’re an American…
    But ask someone who’s country, family and livelihood have been destroyed and you might get a different response.
    The point I am making is…
    Nothing is quite like it seems…
    Especially when it comes to the information we receive.
    It’s only when we look back at history with the benefit of time that the truth eventually will come out.
    By then the people involved are usually dead and most others are too busy with the struggles of daily life to even care.
    In retrospect it was quite humorous to watch the post Osama death celebration in front of the White House.
    Several people who were interviewed mentioned… “It was about time they had finally killed Sadam”.
    It really makes you wonder…

  20. Gary says

    I don’t see terrorism ever ending. It’s not a political or religious movement, it’s a tactic. Terrorism is and has been used by various groups and individuals for a long, long time, and will be around forever – unless someday we all become “enlightened”, or extinct from global warming ;)

    I think it’s obvious why UBL is viewed as a hero. It’s an us against them proposition. If you buy into their rhetoric, reverence for UBL would naturally follow.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone acts of terrorism. I think those who carry out and/or plan and aid such actions, should be hunted down and, umm, dealt with.

    • says

      Oh, I think that terrorism will end someday, but not in our lifetime. Of course, your opinion is as valid as mine though. Unfortunately, we’ll never know who was right.

      • Gary says

        You might be right. It’ll be the day before there’s no more war and/or crime, or the day after we’re all extinct :D

    • Ricardo Sumilang says

      It is a behavior modification strategy that has long been employed by individuals and groups, as you correctly stated. It has been around throughout recorded history, and will continue to be around as long as humankind exists and there are people aggrieved, in my opinion. The frequency and intensity of terrorist acts as we know it today may taper off in the long run, and there may even be a dearth of significant terrorist activity in the next decade, given the emasculation of al Qaeda, but I seriously doubt “terrorism” will ever end completely.

      I think that if you look back in time, it has only been in the last 40 years or so (perhaps beginning with the hostage-taking at the Munich Olympics, 1972?, or earlier) that the word, “terrorism”, has taken on its monstrous connotation, during a period in which hostage taking, suicide- and car-bombings and aircraft hijackings have escalated, culminating in 9/11. I may be wrong in my observation, but the escalation of terrorist activities against the U.S. appear to have a direct correlation with U.S. foreign policies following WWII involving meddling in the internal affairs of other nations.

      • Papa Duck says

        Ricardo

        I believe alot of the the terrorism started when right around the Munich Olympics or earlier when Israel was fighting Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Palestinians for there very existance as a nation, which they couldn’t have done without US support. The mossad did a good job of eliminating most of the terrorist involved in the Munich Massacre. Also the Israelis did a good job in freeing the hostages from a hijacked plane in Uganda in the 1970′s. Alot of it has to do with the US involvement in the Middle East.

      • Gary says

        Ricardo appreciate the feedback. The point I’m really trying to make is to disassociate the term terrorism from Islamofascism, which seems to be the term de rigueur. I know Wikipedia gets some blowback, but what I’m trying to say is that terrorist acts are tactical maneuverers, as in this link, which predates the Munich Olympics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism.

        Will we evolve beyond violence? One can only hope. Science fiction writers don’t seem so optimistic. It really depends on ones social mores – at one time it was a good night out to watch cat burning in Paris, would we tolerate that now? Well, it depends on who “we” are. Michael Vick spent some time for dog fighting, I’ve spent some time at cock fights, but you know what, there are still “we” who stone adulterers to death for their Saturday afternoon fun.

        One could argue that the Islamic world might be on the verge of awakening from their dark ages, like the Christian renaissance. If our progeny are lucky, it won’t be at the destruction of the west.

        • Ricardo Sumilang says

          I understand what you’re saying, Gary. Terrorism is not exclusive to Islam, and not all terrorist activities are inspired by religion. It has been employed by individuals and groups throughout history in one form or another to achieve an end, to retaliate, to use as a bargaining chip, or to modify behavior irrespective of their religious or ideological leanings. It has only been associated with Muslims in recent times because terrorist activities that have occured in recent times have been perpetrated by Muslims, mostly against the U.S. and its interests abroad. Today, you’d be hard- pressed to find anyone who doesn’t automatically think of Muslims when the subject of terrorism comes up. It hasn’t always been that way.

          To carry this conversation further, I am of the opinion that this problem about Islamic fanaticism directed against the U.S. all started with our propping up the pro-West Shah of Iran on the Peacock Throne in the 70s against the wishes of the Iranian majority, then followed by the return to Iran of the anti-West and largely popular Ayatollah Khomeini from exile. Everything went south for the U.S. since then.

          • Bryan G says

            Ricardo,
            Much of Islamic terrorism is sectarian – mainly between the Shia and Sunni branches of the faith. It does not attract much media interest as it does not affect western countries to any great extent. There have been far more casualties inflicted upon Muslims by Muslims than have been inflicted upon the west . Pakistan,Afghanistan and Iraq are prime examples of this – tens of thousands of deaths due to attacks on mosques and places of pilgrimage mainly by Sunni fanatics against Shia.The few attacks on western targets have caused a fraction of the casualties suffered by these sectarian atrocities.

            • Ricardo Sumilang says

              That’s one way of looking at it, Bryan, but, personally, I do not consider sectarian or factional conflicts as a form of terrorism as we know it today. But, as in all conflicts and war, atrocities will be committed, not as acts of terrorism, but all in the name of war.

              • Bryan G says

                Ricardo,
                Planting car bombs or carrying out suicide bombings is terrorism when directed at innocent worshippers or pilgrims whatever the motive – the only difference between the 9-11 attack and the attack in Mumbai is scale. Deliberate attacks on unsuspecting civilian men,women and children is by definition terrorism.The Shia community and other minority Islamic sects are under a continuing threat from the Wahabi Sunni groups in Pakistan – being regularly attacked by bombers and gunmen – this is terrorism pure and simple

              • Ricardo Sumilang says

                To follow your logic, Bryan, then should we say that the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or the firebombing of London, Dresden,Stalingrad, Leningrad, Manila and Dresden that killed hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting civilian men, women and children acts of terrorism or carried out in the name of war?

  21. Don says

    Very interesting, Bob. I wonder if Patek was the one interrogated by the CIA in a prison in Romania or Poland.

    • says

      Hi Don – When Patek was arrested, he was sent to his home country, Indonesia. At the time, just a few weeks ago, Indonesia denied the USA access to Patek. So, unless there was some secret deal, the US never talked to him. For sure he never went to Romania or Poland since he was arrested. But, who knows, he may have provided intelligence to Indonesian officials which was passed on, I suspect we will never know.

  22. says

    I don’t have a problem with the way a lot of Americans celebrated…it was a release for many. Osama Bin Laden was hanging over our head for a long time….I was watching 60 minutes and when I heard he was dead I cheered. It is ALWAYS a good thing when one of the most evil people in the world is dead.

    As far as terrorism ending, no way. We will always have terrorism in one way or another. We will never be able to stop everyone from wanting to terrorize people with violence. And ANYONE that thinks the Middle East will ever be peaceful for long stretches…I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you.

    As long as religion rules the lives of so many people, and there are differences in religious beliefs and how people should live…there will be some sort of violence. The radicals just cannot help themselves.

    Parts of the Pakistani government, security forces, military, and intelligence forces MUST have known he was there. If we could figure out, with fairly good confidence, from thousands of miles a way… they must have had some idea where he was.

    Maybe the neighbors didn’t know, but my goodness….you would have to believe Pakistan is totally incompetent to believe they knew nothing of him being there. They are NOT totally incompetent.

    They are not our friends, and aid to that country needs to end until that government really gets serious. Can there be any doubts that other have level associates of Bin Laden are in Pakistan. If ya think so, I also have some nice swamp land in Florida to sell you.

    And finally, huge kudos to the Navy Seals and President Obama. You do not have to be a Navy Seal to know that the mission was amazingly risky. For them to pull it off without any of them getting killed is just amazing.

    And for Obama to give the go ahead took some balls. If this mission went bad it would have been worse than the failed Iran hostage rescue under Jimmy Carter. I do think at least one photo should be released….but as of now it doesn’t look like they will.

      • says

        LOL Bob! Let me check with my agent! I am sure we can give ya a pretty good deal…might be lacking some paper work thought. Hope ya don’t mind. We lost it.

  23. Steve Maust says

    Bob,
    Due to heightened security awareness I can not comment on this subject at this time. In case of reprisal attacks I am keeping a low profile. ;)

  24. Allan Kelly says

    Bin Laden sari-sari store? Too much! I don’t know wether I should laugh or cry at the ignorance of that. Honoring (?) a man who has caused the deaths of thousands.

      • Jun Trinidad says

        Reasons why the owner would name his store BL
        1. Honoring UBL (as Allan said above)
        2. Has the same last name (i’m sure they’re not related)
        3. Name recognition (might be good for his store)

      • says

        Shortly after 9/11, I don’t know if you spotted people in Davao wearing tshirts w/ Osama’s likeness. they were selling them in stores (including VP mall) & i’d see a guy on the hoop court wearing one with a che guevarra style print of OBL’s likeness.

        Today, there’s a memorial service that will be held here in Manila for Bin Laden by various muslim groups. a few of them holding OBL in high regard.

        Now what do I think about this? I say let them. Every country has there fringe thinkers.

        I think it’s a good sign for the Phil. that a group or people can congregate for a person as distasteful as OBL (Westboro Baptist Church, anyone?). It shows that this country allows a democratic open discussion & tolerates varied opinions.

        **Of course, I say this with the knowledge of OBL’s allies terrorist links. That’s a big asterisk that can’t be overlooked & needs to be stated, but my opinion of free opinion in the country remains.

        • says

          Hi Macky – On 9/11, we did not live in Davao yet, we were living in GenSan at the time. I don’t recall seeing anybody down there wearing bin Laden t-shirts and such, although it would not have surprised me. On my travels in the ARMM I have seen people wearing bin Laden’s image in all sorts of ways. I’ve seen tricycles with bin Laden painted on the side. Nothing suprises me, I guess.

          I don’t have any problem with people having a memorial or whatever… I just blow it off, I can’t change it anyway. I do think that it’s a bit crazy to do it, though. Well… maybe not a “bit”. :lol:

  25. Dine says

    Dear Bob,

    My family will be in the Philippines at the end of this month, my sister told me that there is a travel advisory, she was not clear about it..do you know if it is safe for us to go to Mindanao? I know the media seems to ever react about situation like this. Have you heard about anything done against foreigners in Davao area? Thanks.

    Dine

    • says

      Hi Dine – I would not be worried about visiting Davao. There is really not much in the way of terrorism here. That said, something can happen anywhere in the world… even in your home town.

  26. Dine says

    Hello Bob,

    Thanks for the immediate response. My husband wants to try to meet you. We have a very tight schedule but we will do our best. See you then. I got your phone number.

  27. says

    wow i typed in philippine connections in google and this is the 4 th or 5th site to come up so i had to check it out great news here bob im an american 36 years old and am planning a trip to phiippines in nov.2011
    i need info from someone who knows is this area safe i am going into manila and from there to zambales,possibly neuava ecija,and quezon city(maybe botangas & sagada…i am meeting a girl there (yes ok start the jokes now:)but ive been talking with her for 9 months now we met on face book by her sending me a friend request and we have communicated every day almost since feb on telephone and skype -she has never asked me for money or any of the other tales ive heard of about philippine chat girls,ive talked with her family on skype and the phone and im trusting in this to be real but man i get worried about traveling so far from usa but now i know you live there in the heart of mindano where im terrified to go to from the stories ive heard even though im a beleiver in human spirit and dont judge people by their religious views i know others look at americans and dont like what they see.can you give me any advice…?thanks
    i also will be volunteering at clark veterans cemetery while im there oh yeah and heres the kicker i plan on staying for 30 DAYS i have the visa extension already and my plane ticket-how much money for someone who isnt looking for first class accomodations just looking for a safe vacation and meeting of my (girl) friends family wondering how much money i need to survive there for 30 days….:) thanks bob!!!! im takeing this in baby steps like the movie-what about bob!

    • says

      Don’t be worried, Jayd, the areas where you have mentioned visiting are safe, in my opinion.

      The amount of money you need depends on you. We all have different lifestyles.

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