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PHNO PRESIDENTIAL (DU30) NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

DUTERTE TO ABU SAYYAF - 'l HOW CAN YOU KILL IN ALLAH's NAME?'


AUGUST 31 -LOVE FOR SOLDIERS. President Rodrigo Duterte kisses the photograph of a slain soldier in Western Mindanao Command as he visits the wake of fallen soldiers. Photo by Richard Falcatan/Rappler
President Duterte visits the wake of soldiers killed in a recent encounter with the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu. MANILA, Philippines – While visiting the wake of soldiers killed in an encounter with the Abu Sayyaf, President Rodrigo Duterte slammed the terrorist group for killing and mutilating in the name of Allah. “You think Allah would be happy to see you do like that? In the name of Allah, you kill then, unnecessarily, you mutilate the body of the human being?” Duterte said in Zamboanga City on Wednesday, August 31. Duterte flew in that afternoon to visit the graves of 11 out of 15 soldiers killed in a recent encounter with the Abu Sayyaf Group in Barangay Maligay, Patikul, Sulu. Philippine flags draped the coffins of the soldiers at the Western Mindanao Command gymnasium. The bodies of the other 4 soldiers were already buried before Duterte’s arrival. SALUTE. President Duterte salutes the body of a fallen soldier who died during an encounter with the Abu Sayyaf in Zamboanga City. Photo by Richard Falcatan/Rappler READ MORE...

FROM FACEBOOK OF PRESIDETIAL COMMUNICATIONS PAGE


AUGUST 30 -
Presidential Communications (Government of the Philippines) Like This Page · 22 hrs · We honor our fallen soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty on August 30, 2016 in Patikul, Sulu. Today, we remember their names. But tomorrow, we honor their memory by doing our own duty for the country. #PartnerForChange #HeroesForChange FROM FACEBOOK.

ALSO Rody: Obama must listen to me on rights


SEPTEMBER 1 -Duterte: I like Putin
MANILA, Philippines – He is ready to discuss anything under the sun with US President Barack Obama, but President Duterte said the leader of the world’s most powerful nation must listen to him first before raising the issue of human rights for a better appreciation of the extent of the drug problem in the Philippines. “He can raise any topic at all. I am ready to talk to him,” Duterte told reporters yesterday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 where he welcomed returning Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia. When asked whether he is ready to discuss human rights with Obama, Duterte replied: “It depends to what degree because they must understand the problem first before we talk about human rights.” “I would insist, ‘Listen to me. This is what the problem is.’ Then we can talk. No problem,” he added. Duterte also said he is excited to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has expressed eagerness to meet the Philippine leader. “That I look forward to,” he said when asked about his bilateral meeting with the Russian leader in Laos. “I like Putin…We have similarities.” When asked to elaborate on the similarities, Duterte replied: “Perhaps when it comes to girls.” Duterte and Obama are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Laos on Sept. 6. In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs through spokesman Charles Jose said the meeting would be an opportunity for Duterte to “communicate his advocacy to improve the peace and order situation in the country, especially towards eradicating the scourge of illicit drugs.”  The Philippine leader’s vicious war on drugs and crime has caught the attention of the international community, with the US State Department expressing its “deep concern.” Duterte resented the US criticism and reminded the Americans of the deaths of several African-Americans at the hands of their law enforcers. He also lashed out at the United Nations after its human rights representatives urged policemen to be mindful of the rule of law in carrying out their anti-drug operations. About 2,000 suspected drug offenders have been killed since Duterte assumed office last June 30. Almost half of the killings were carried out in police operations and the rest by unidentified assailants. On Tuesday, White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said Obama is expected to raise concerns about human rights in his bilateral meeting with Duterte. But the issue is something Duterte would rather set aside. “At this time, I’m talking to China and China wants to talk to me bilateral. It’s good and if it’s to the advice of my team, the military, the police and these guys, then good work,” the President said. China will be represented at the Laos meeting by Premier Li Keqiang. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Wipe out the ASG’ - Duterte vows tit for tat, calls on nation to brace for reprisals


SEPTEMBER 5 -Residents light candles and place flowers as they offer prayers for bomb blast victims in Davao City . AFP “You started this. I wanted to talk to you but you leave me with no choice,” Duterte said,  addressing the terrorist group directly during a meeting with national security officials in Matina, Davao City just a few hundred meters from his residence.
The meeting with national security officials and several Cabinet members started at 11 p.m. and ended at 4 a.m. Duterte called on the nation to prepare for reprisals from the terrorist group similar to the Davao City bombing as the government pressed its campaign to wipe out the kidnap-for-ransom gang. “I am calling on the nation to prepare for reprisals. There will be sacrifices to be made but we have to address this problem once and for all,” Duterte said. The Abu Sayyaf Group, which identifies itself with the Islamic State, generates funds by taking hostages, both local and foreign, and demanding a ransom for their release. Hostages whose families do not pay up are beheaded—including the latest victim, an 18-year-old Filipino whose parents failed to pay his ransom.  “If I have to hire the Gurkhas to help us fight the Abu Sayyaf, I am willing to do it,” Duterte said. READ MORE...

ALSO: WORLD NEWS -  Key ISIS deputy and spokesman killed in Aleppo, group says


AUGUST 31 -Mohammad al-Adnani, ISIS spokesman killed in Aleppo: ISIS top spokesman killed in airstrike. - CNN.com
ISIS announces death of top spokesman 03:04 (CNN) Mohammad al-Adnani, the official spokesman of ISIS and one of its most senior members, has died in Syria, the terror group said in a rare public statement. His death marks the highest-profile killing yet of an ISIS member. A key deputy to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, he was the person floated to be his successor should anything happen to al-Baghdadi. A statement from ISIS' Amaq news agency on Tuesday said al-Adnani died while inspecting military operations in the area of Aleppo, Syria. ISIS has not revealed his cause of death and said it "determined to seek revenge" for the killing."After a journey filled with sacrifice and fight against non-believers, the Syrian Gallant knight, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, joined the convoy of martyr leaders," ISIS said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Duterte reiterates ‘no war policy’ vs China


AUGUST 30 -“China, it’s not worthy, I don’t go to war.” AP/Bullit Marquez
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said that he wishes to seat in front of the Chinese ambassador or his representative in order to lay down the Philippines’ position regarding the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) issue as he reiterated his stand for peace. Duterte in his speech during the commemoration of the National Heroes Day at the “Libingan Ng Mga Bayani” in Taguig said, “China, it’s not worthy, I don’t go to war.” The president said he wants talks with China to prosper and will not do acts that may affect it. The Philippines through former President Fidel Ramos, who leads the panel for the talks with China, has met with Chinese officials recently to look into future discussions between the two countries on the West Philippine Sea issue. Earlier, the president said that the country will not open the topic on the South China Sea nor the arbitral decision so as not to affect the ongoing talks between the two countries. RELATED: Duterte wants to set aside arbitral ruling — for now “I’ll keep silent now, and the ambassador is there. But I will state my case before you. I will never bring the matter, because it might lead only to the suspension of the talks with China,” Duterte said. He had also earlier expressed his objection to outsiders meddling into the affairs of the country as the issue of the country with China is personal between the two countries and should be discussed only with China. The president said, “I propose that we just have a soft landing everywhere but for now, Mr. Ambassador, I want to just talk to you for a moment.” READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Duterte to Abu Sayyaf: How can you kill in Allah's name?


LOVE FOR SOLDIERS. President Rodrigo Duterte kisses the photograph of a slain soldier in Western Mindanao Command as he visits the wake of fallen soldiers. Photo by Richard Falcatan/Rappler

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 5, 2016 (RAPPLER.COM) Pia Ranada @piaranada Published 6:26 PM, August 31, 2016 Updated 7:35 PM, August 31, 2016 - President Duterte visits the wake of soldiers killed in a recent encounter with the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.

While visiting the wake of soldiers killed in an encounter with the Abu Sayyaf, President Rodrigo Duterte slammed the terrorist group for killing and mutilating in the name of Allah.

“You think Allah would be happy to see you do like that?

In the name of Allah, you kill then, unnecessarily, you mutilate the body of the human being?” Duterte said in Zamboanga City on Wednesday, August 31.

Duterte flew in that afternoon to visit the graves of 11 out of 15 soldiers killed in a recent encounter with the Abu Sayyaf Group in Barangay Maligay, Patikul, Sulu.

Philippine flags draped the coffins of the soldiers at the Western Mindanao Command gymnasium.

The bodies of the other 4 soldiers were already buried before Duterte’s arrival.


SALUTE. President Duterte salutes the body of a fallen soldier who died during an encounter with the Abu Sayyaf in Zamboanga City. Photo by Richard Falcatan/Rappler

READ MORE...

Duterte said that while he is ready to pursue peace talks with Moro separatist groups, he has a problem dealing with the Abu Sayyaf.

“May problema ako sa Abu Sayyaf because they are terrorists and the killing – pugutan ng ulo sa harap ng mundo, civilian, o sundalo (I have a problem with the Abu Sayyaf because they are terrorists and killing – beheading civilians or soldiers in front of the world),” he said.

He implied he thought Abu Sayyaf members are less than warriors because they resort to gruesome methods of killing.

“In the olden times, ‘yung kuwento ng aming mga ninuno, the Tausug warrior is an honorable man. Eh bakit ba ‘yan – putulan ng ulo ‘yung mga hostage niya? Hindi trabaho ito ng totoong Tausug,” said Duterte. (In the olden times, as the stories of our forebears go, the Tausug warrior is an honorable man. So why behead hostages? This is not the work of a true Tausug.)

The President was present as some of the fallen soldiers were buried. He extended words of comfort to the family of those killed.

He offered to help them after the death of their family member, who in most cases was likely the breadwinner.

“Now, itong mga naiwan na pamilya ng mga sundalo, I’d like you to know na automatic member kayo sa 4Ps, so may konting pera diyan buwan-buwan, saka may isang sako ng bigas,” said the President. (Now, these families left behind by the soldiers, I’ld like you to know that you are automatic members of 4Ps, so there is some money there monthly and you will have one sack of rice.)

After ordering the military to “destroy” the Abu Sayyaf, the Duterte administration has ramped up its efforts against the group.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said 5 battalions composed of 2,500 soldiers are being deployed to Sulu, stomping ground of the Abu Sayyaf. – Rappler.com

VIDEO: Pres. Duterte COMFORTS THE FAMILIES OF THE FALLEN HEROES

 
https://youtu.be/p9H6mfQld-w
Pres. Duterte COMFORTS THE FAMILIES OF THE FALLEN HEROES (11 Out Of 15 Soldiers) Philippine Exposé Philippine Exposé Subscribe3,831 Add to Share More 213 views 15 0 Published on Aug 31, 2016 DON'T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE TO BE UPDATED. ----------------------------------------­----------------------------------------­----------------------- President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visits the wake of 11 out of the 15 killed-in-action (KIA) soldiers at the Gymnasium of the Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) in Zamboanga City on August 31, 2016. These 15 soldiers were killed on Monday, August 29, while conducting pursuit and blocking operations against the Group (ASG) members at Brgy. Maligay in Patikul, Sulu. The other four slain soldiers were buried prior to the visit of the President. (c)Owner. RTVM PTV


PHILSTAR

Rody: Obama must listen to me on rights By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 1, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte talks to the media after welcoming Overseas Filipino Workers who were repatriated back to the country Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. The Philippine president says he is ready to discuss with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit next week in Laos, his bloody anti-drugs campaign, which has sparked Washington's concerns as the body count in the crackdown climbed alarmingly. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

Duterte: I like Putin

MANILA, Philippines – He is ready to discuss anything under the sun with US President Barack Obama, but President Duterte said the leader of the world’s most powerful nation must listen to him first before raising the issue of human rights for a better appreciation of the extent of the drug problem in the Philippines.

“He can raise any topic at all. I am ready to talk to him,” Duterte told reporters yesterday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 where he welcomed returning Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia.

When asked whether he is ready to discuss human rights with Obama, Duterte replied: “It depends to what degree because they must understand the problem first before we talk about human rights.”

“I would insist, ‘Listen to me. This is what the problem is.’ Then we can talk. No problem,” he added.

Duterte also said he is excited to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has expressed eagerness to meet the Philippine leader.

“That I look forward to,” he said when asked about his bilateral meeting with the Russian leader in Laos. “I like Putin…We have similarities.”

When asked to elaborate on the similarities, Duterte replied: “Perhaps when it comes to girls.”

Duterte and Obama are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Laos on Sept. 6.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs through spokesman Charles Jose said the meeting would be an opportunity for Duterte to “communicate his advocacy to improve the peace and order situation in the country, especially towards eradicating the scourge of illicit drugs.”

The Philippine leader’s vicious war on drugs and crime has caught the attention of the international community, with the US State Department expressing its “deep concern.”

Duterte resented the US criticism and reminded the Americans of the deaths of several African-Americans at the hands of their law enforcers.

He also lashed out at the United Nations after its human rights representatives urged policemen to be mindful of the rule of law in carrying out their anti-drug operations.

About 2,000 suspected drug offenders have been killed since Duterte assumed office last June 30. Almost half of the killings were carried out in police operations and the rest by unidentified assailants.

On Tuesday, White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said Obama is expected to raise concerns about human rights in his bilateral meeting with Duterte. But the issue is something Duterte would rather set aside.

“At this time, I’m talking to China and China wants to talk to me bilateral. It’s good and if it’s to the advice of my team, the military, the police and these guys, then good work,” the President said. China will be represented at the Laos meeting by Premier Li Keqiang.

READ MORE...

Rhodes has said the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea dispute may be raised during the meeting between Duterte and Obama.

“I think we’ll want to review the state of play as it relates to our treaty alliance in the situation in the South China Sea in that dialogue with the new president of the Philippines,” the White House official said in a press briefing last Tuesday.

Last July, an arbitral tribunal based in The Hague invalidated China’s nine-dash line territorial claim in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea.

Beijing, however, refused to recognize the ruling and even called it “illegal.”

The tribunal acted on a 2013 case filed by the Philippines against China’s claim, which covers about 90 percent of the resource-rich South China Sea.

Putin skipped the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit hosted by the Philippines last November. Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medveded represented Putin during the event, which was attended by delegates from more than 20 countries.

The leaders of Australia, Japan and India are also expected to hold bilateral meetings with Duterte on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Laos. – With Pia Lee Brago


MANILA STANDARD

‘Wipe out the ASG’: Duterte vows tit for tat, calls on nation to brace for reprisals posted September 05, 2016 at 12:01 am by Sandy Araneta and Funny Pearl Gajunera

“You started this. I wanted to talk to you but you leave me with no choice,” Duterte said, addressing the terrorist group directly during a meeting with national security officials in Matina, Davao City just a few hundred meters from his residence.

The meeting with national security officials and several Cabinet members started at 11 p.m. and ended at 4 a.m.

Duterte called on the nation to prepare for reprisals from the terrorist group similar to the Davao City bombing as the government pressed its campaign to wipe out the kidnap-for-ransom gang.

“I am calling on the nation to prepare for reprisals. There will be sacrifices to be made but we have to address this problem once and for all,” Duterte said.


Residents light candles and place flowers as they offer prayers for bomb blast victims in Davao City . AFP

The Abu Sayyaf Group, which identifies itself with the Islamic State, generates funds by taking hostages, both local and foreign, and demanding a ransom for their release. Hostages whose families do not pay up are beheaded—including the latest victim, an 18-year-old Filipino whose parents failed to pay his ransom.

“If I have to hire the Gurkhas to help us fight the Abu Sayyaf, I am willing to do it,” Duterte said.

READ MORE...

While Duterte said he believed that the Abu Sayyaf and other extremist groups are products of historical injustices, he said the actions of the group, including kidnapping and beheadings, have made it imperative for government to deal with the problem by force.

“There’s no other option. These people are like germs that must be eliminated,” the President said.

Several Army battalions and Special Forces members have been dispatched to Sulu to hunt down the Abu Sayyaf, while Navy vessels have formed a blockade to stop the terrorists from fleeing the island.

In the wake of Friday’s bomb attack, security forces in Davao assured the public that the city remained safe and encouraged people to go about their daily business.

Police Regional Office 11 Regional Director Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan said security forces were on full alert and prepared for any eventualities.

Police were in close coordination with the military, which has also intensified their security measures all over the city, he said.

“We assure the people that the PNP, in fact the Eastern Mindanao Command is with us, we assure the people that we are doing our best to keep the situation in Davao City and nearby places as normal as possible,” Gaerlan said.


IN MEMORIAM. A national flag is placed among flowers as residents offer prayers for bomb blast victims at a night market, during a memorial at the site in Davao City, on September 3, 2016. AFP

The commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, said his troops were on full alert and securing the city.

He added that the Armed Forces of the Philippines is helping the police with their investigation of the Friday night blast by providing them intelligence reports.

He also said that they have deployed additional troops in Davao City and intensified checkpoint operations in all terminals including seaports and airports.

“We also increased troop presence and visibility in malls, parks, churches and other public places. We also intensified efforts against terrorist groups,” Guerrero added.

On Saturday morning, President Duterte said that all the heads of the security forces of the government are in the city right now to ensure the safety of the city.

Duterte said that even the country’s top intelligence officials were in the city to help pinpoint the people responsible for the bombing, which claimed 15 lives.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, the President’s daughter, said that the city will continue all its regular activities as they will refuse to bow down to terrorism.

“We will never bow down to a terrorist attack. It will take us hundreds of bombings to fall,” she said.

The mayor also promised to shoulder all hospital and burial expenses of all the victims of the blast.

PNP chief, Ronald Dela Rosa revealed on Saturday night that the explosion was caused by an improvised explosive device that used a mortar shell.

Three persons of interest were tagged as the police continue to search for clear CCTV footage of the attack.

Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto on Sunday urged President Duterte to call for a National Security Council meeting after his foreign trip next week, so that other leaders of the nation could help him develop policies and programs that would crush the resurgent Abu Sayyaf.

“If the four presidents—Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Benigno Aquino—will be in attendance in the NSC, “they can share their successes and failures in battling terrorism,” the senator said.

“Theirs is a ‘been there, done that’ squad that can impart to the incumbent the pitfalls and the so-called minefields ahead,” Recto said.

Recto said Duterte’s four living predecessors had confronted terror attacks of all kinds.

Another area where “pooled advice” is needed, Recto said, is “how to uphold citizen’s rights, minimize public inconvenience, rally the support of the people, manage the country’s image abroad, and firewall the economy” during a “state of lawless violence.”

TOURISTS ASSURED

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo also assured tourists in Davao that the city remained safe, after several countries issued travel advisories that warned their nationals to avoid traveling to the Philippines.

“The quick and professional response and action of our police, armed forces and security group shows that Davao is well-prepared for contingencies, including isolated attacks like this bombing incident,” Teo said.

The Palace also played down the travel advisories issued by Australia, Canada, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States, which warned their citizens to avoid travel to the Philippines after the President declared “a state of lawlessness” in the wake of Friday night’s bombing.

“There is nothing new here,” said Communications Secretary Martin Andanar. “It’s really also their duty to advise their citizens who are traveling to be careful.”

Australia told its citizens to reconsider their plans to travel to the eastern part of Mindanao, including Davao City, “and to exercise high degree of caution in the Philippines.”

The United States Embassy said in its advisory that it has temporarily suspended all official travel to Mindanao.

“While we have no information that indicates there is a direct threat to US citizens or interests in the Philippines, the embassy encourages all US citizens to remain vigilant and employ sound personal security measures as you go about your day,” it said.

The embassy also reminded its citizens that the US Department of State Worldwide issued a memo on March 3 on the “ongoing threat of terrorist actions and violence against United States citizens and interests abroad, including the Philippines.”

The United Kingdom told its citizens to avoid traveling to southwest Mindanao and Sulu, the bailiwick of the Abu Sayyaf.

It also advised its citizens to “allow extra time to pass through security” while traveling through the Philippines, which should be expected with the state of lawlessness declaration.

They were also advised against joining “large crowds and demonstrations,” take precautions against the “high incidence of street crime and robbery throughout the Philippines,” and to monitor local news reports.

“There is a high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping. There has been an increase in kidnapping of foreign nationals since late 2015. It’s likely that terrorist groups continue to plan kidnap operations against western nationals in the region. You should remain vigilant at all times,” the government wrote.

The Singapore Embassy in Manila also advised its citizens to “exercise vigilance” as it condemned the bomb attack.

The Canadian government updated its “security tab” and advised its citizens against traveling to Mindanao and Sulu.

The Abu Sayyaf had kidnapped Canadian nationals in Samal Island. The two victims were later beheaded by the bandits after their ransom demands were not met.

“There is no nationwide advisory in effect for the Philippines. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to an ongoing terrorist threat to Westerners and Western interests,” the Global Affairs Canadian advisory said. With Macon Ramos-Araneta and Rio N. Araja


CNN

Key ISIS deputy and spokesman killed in Aleppo, group says Emanuella Grinberg-Profile-Image1
By Merieme Arif, Ghazi Balkiz, Emanuella Grinberg and Nick Paton Walsh, CNN Updated 7:25 AM ET, Wed August 31, 2016
exp TSR.Todd.Most.Wanted.ISIS.Al-Adnani_00002001


AUGUST 31 -Mohammad al-Adnani, ISIS spokesman killed in Aleppo: ISIS top spokesman killed in airstrike. - CNN.com

ISIS announces death of top spokesman 03:04

(CNN) Mohammad al-Adnani, the official spokesman of ISIS and one of its most senior members, has died in Syria, the terror group said in a rare public statement.

His death marks the highest-profile killing yet of an ISIS member. A key deputy to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, he was the person floated to be his successor should anything happen to al-Baghdadi.

A statement from ISIS' Amaq news agency on Tuesday said al-Adnani died while inspecting military operations in the area of Aleppo, Syria. ISIS has not revealed his cause of death and said it "determined to seek revenge" for the killing.

"After a journey filled with sacrifice and fight against non-believers, the Syrian Gallant knight, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, joined the convoy of martyr leaders," ISIS said.

READ MORE...



"To the filthy and coward nonbelievers and to the holders of the Christ emblem, we bring the good news, which will keep them awake, that a new generation in the Islamic State ... that loves death more than life ... this generation will only grow steadfast on the path to Jihad, stay determined to seek revenge and be violent toward them."

READ: Death of senior leader al-Adnani caps bad month for ISIS

'Significant blow'

Coalition forces have not confirmed his death but the Pentagon acknowledged that he was targeted in a precision strike on Tuesday near Al-Bab, Syria.

"We are still assessing the results of the strike, but al-Adnani's removal from the battlefield would mark another significant blow to ISIS," Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement.

Who was ISIS leader Muhammad al-Adnani?

"Al-Adnani has served as principal architect of ISIS' external operations and as ISIS' chief spokesman. He has coordinated the movement of ISIS fighters, directly encouraged lone-wolf attacks on civilians and members of the military and actively recruited new ISIS members. The U.S. military will continue to prioritize and relentlessly target ISIS leaders and external plotters in order to defend our homeland, our allies and our partners, while we continue to gather momentum in destroying ISIL's parent tumor in Iraq and Syria and combat its metastases around the world."

More than a spokesman

As spokesman, al-Adnani was the group's most prominent face, the first to announce the ISIS caliphate even before Baghdadi did.

But he was much more than a spokesman, CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said.

Al-Adnani was well known for ordering operatives to attack countries participating in the US-led coalition against ISIS. Western intelligence believes he had command responsibility for the Paris attacks.

ISIS says senior leader killed; vows revenge

He is believed to have carried out those orders as one of the ISIS leaders overseeing its security service, known as "Amniyat," which includes the external operations unit tasked with international attacks on the West. As such, the external operations unit reported up to al-Adnani.

A number of ISIS followers and members captured and questioned in the last two years, including French jihadists Faiz Bouchrane and Reda Hame, have attested to al-Adnani as head of the Amniyat.

READ: Ex-wife of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: I want a new life in Europe

"In some ways he's a more dangerous figure than Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, because he's believed to be overseeing the external operations division of ISIS, and that's the part of ISIS which threatens the West, which carried out the attacks in Paris, which could one day carry out an attack in the US on a significant scale," Cruickshank said.

First to declare ISIS caliphate

Al-Adnani has been with ISIS since its beginnings and was close to al-Baghdadi, CNN's Nic Roberston said. In June 2014, he was the first to declare a "caliphate" for parts of Syria and Iraq, indicating ISIS' aim of not just being a terrorist group but a governing entity.

Blindsided: How did ISIS grow so fast?

Born in Syria in 1977, al-Adnani was the most senior Syrian in ISIS, a trait that some analysts say may have counted against him in a leadership bid among the Iraqi-led terror group.

The US State Department officially labeled al-Adnani a terrorist in August 2014 and put a $5 million bounty on his head. They described him as "the official spokesman for and a senior leader" of ISIS, a position he obtained after becoming one of the first foreign fighters to oppose U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq.

He was arrested in May 2005 in Al-Anbar province and is believed to have spent some time between 2005 and 2010 at the U.S. detention facility, Camp Bucca.

READ: Who might lead ISIS if al-Baghdadi dies?

After his arrival in Syria, he was appointed deputy of Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq for the northern province, then as the security leader before assuming a key role in external operations for ISIS, according to the United Nations Security Council.

Crush their heads with rocks

"He was the mouthpiece of ISIS. He said things like, 'If you can't shoot them, then stab them, and if you can't stab them, then crush their heads with rocks. If you can't do that then drive your cars, your vehicles, to kill them," Robertson said.
"He absolutely tried to maximize every opportunity to instill fear in Syria and Iraq and the international community and send fighters overseas to attack," Robertson said.

In May 2015, ISIS took control of Palmyra, Syria, and began to destroy ancient ruins and artifacts. The Temple of Bel is seen here after Syrian forces reclaimed the city in March 2016. ISIS has also destroyed other cultural sites in Syria and Iraq.

ISIS also claimed responsibility for what it called a suicide bombing at the Al-Sadiq mosque in Kuwait City on June 26, 2015. At least 27 people were killed and at least 227 were wounded, state media reported at the time. The bombing came on the same day as the attack on the Tunisian beach.

The ISIS militant group -- led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, began as a splinter group of al Qaeda. Its aim is to create an Islamic state, or caliphate, across Iraq and Syria. It is implementing Sharia law, rooted in eighth-century Islam, to establish a society that mirrors the region's ancient past. It is known for killing dozens of people at a time and carrying out public executions.

In May 2015, the State Department announced a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to al-Adnani, noting his "repeated calls for attacks against Westerns" and his pledges to "defeat" the United States.

He said ISIS supporters in the West had a religious duty to launch lone-wolf attacks, a move analysts call a game changer that may have inspired attacks in North America, Europe and Australia.

"He was the strategic leader of the organization, especially when it comes to attacks on the West," said journalist Graeme Wood, Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. "To have that voice destroyed is a serious blow to the organization, probably the most significant kill that the enemies of the Islamic state have perpetrated since its declaration of the caliphate."
CNN's Holly Yan and Dugald McConnell contributed to this report.


PHILSTAR

Duterte reiterates ‘no war policy’ vs China (philstar.com) | Updated August 30, 2016 - 7:17am 12 242 googleplus0 0


“China, it’s not worthy, I don’t go to war.” AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines (Philippines News Agency) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said that he wishes to seat in front of the Chinese ambassador or his representative in order to lay down the Philippines’ position regarding the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) issue as he reiterated his stand for peace.

Duterte in his speech during the commemoration of the National Heroes Day at the “Libingan Ng Mga Bayani” in Taguig said, “China, it’s not worthy, I don’t go to war.”

The president said he wants talks with China to prosper and will not do acts that may affect it. The Philippines through former President Fidel Ramos, who leads the panel for the talks with China, has met with Chinese officials recently to look into future discussions between the two countries on the West Philippine Sea issue.

Earlier, the president said that the country will not open the topic on the South China Sea nor the arbitral decision so as not to affect the ongoing talks between the two countries.

“I’ll keep silent now, and the ambassador is there. But I will state my case before you. I will never bring the matter, because it might lead only to the suspension of the talks with China,” Duterte said.

He had also earlier expressed his objection to outsiders meddling into the affairs of the country as the issue of the country with China is personal between the two countries and should be discussed only with China.

The president said, “I propose that we just have a soft landing everywhere but for now, Mr. Ambassador, I want to just talk to you for a moment.”

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With the Chinese ambassador present during the National Heroes Day commemoration, Duterte jokingly asked that China give the Philippines the time to build its force to cope with their superiority.

The West Philippine Sea, known for its vast marine resources, entices fishermen to go there to catch fish for livelihood. Duterte also asked China to treat the Philippines like its brother and understand the plight of the poor Filipino fishermen.

“That’s why they are there because they are poor.”

Duterte emphasized “the Chinese people this time might find a place in their hearts for the Filipinos. After all, I come from — there’s a Chinese blood in me, so I hope that you treat us your brothers, not your enemies and take note of the plight of our citizens,” he said as he spoke before diplomats during the event.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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