Friday, April 11, 2008

Philippine militant group may be using drug money

By Manny Mogato

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines' most notorious Islamic militant group may be guarding marijuana plantations and protecting drug lords to finance their operations, the head of the country's anti-drug agency said on Monday.

"Our latest discoveries of marijuana plantations were on the islands of Basilan and Jolo, indicating the Abu Sayyaf Group may have gotten into the drug business," said Anselmo Avenido, chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board, in an interview with Reuters.

The Abu Sayyaf, which is entrenched on Jolo and Basilan on the southern tip of the Philippines, has been blamed for the country's worst terrorist attack, the bombing of a ferry near Manila Bay in 2004 that killed 100 people.


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