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BBC NEWS September 11, one year on


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The Philippines has been the unexpected location of the largest deployment of US forces in the war on terrorism outside Central Asia. More than 1,000 US troops were sent there, mostly to the southern island of Basilan to counter the Muslim group Abu Sayyaf and to train local forces. This American deployment is expected to be considerably reduced towards the end of 2002.

A plot to attack the US embassy and US naval ships in Singapore was discovered in December 2001 and 15 suspects were detained. It was an al-Qaeda operation, as was shown by a videotape of the targets found in an al-Qaeda leaderís home which had been bombed in Afghanistan.

Malaysia was the site of a key meeting in January 2000 of al-Qaeda agents. They are believed to have discussed the failure of operations over the Millennium period and to have planned others for later that year, including the attack on the USS Cole. Malaysia is determined that such a meeting will not happen again on its territory.

With its vast Muslim population, Indonesia remained a source of worry to the United States which pressed the government of President Megawati to take firm action against Islamic groups.


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