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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 June, 2003, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Terror in the Philippines
Bar in Manila with plane
Did this bar in Manila inspire the 11 September attacks?
Terror in the Philippines was broadcast on BBC Two on Sunday, 15 June, 2003 at 1915 BST.

The Philippines are home to a new front in the war on terror.

They were also home to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the so-called brains behind al-Qaeda.

It was in Manila that Mohammed first discussed the idea that would eventually lead to the attacks of 11 September.

The Philippines were once a US colony, and the American troops didn't leave their bases there until 1991.

Legacy of suffering

They had taken their eye off the region and, as a result, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was allowed to operate freely.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured in Pakistan
The Americans don't want to make the same mistake again.

Local politicians and people are distrustful, and believe that the US want to do more than just fight terrorism.

None are more distrustful than those who live in the Southern Philippines, an area of autonomy for the country's Muslims, who make up 5% of the Philippines' population.

They suffered more than anyone in the Philippines during US colonial times.

New terror target

The south is also home to Abu Sayyaf, a former Islamic separatist group whose ideology has degenerated into kidnap and ransom - beheading its hostages when ransom demands are not met.

Ben Anderson
Ben Anderson reports for Correspondent from the Philippines
It is not the country's biggest terrorist group, but has become America's target, and the US has promised soldiers to help destroy Abu Sayyaf.

What are the Americans really doing in South East Asia? And are the Filippinos right to be so distrustful?

Correspondent travels throughout the Philippines to find out.

Reporter: Ben Anderson
Producer/Director: Leo Telling
Editor: Karen O'Connor

The origins of 11 September?
13 Jun 03  |  Correspondent



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