meting out final justice. theirs is a war story that deserves to be told. i'm oliver north. good night. tonight on "war stories" jihad in the jungles of southeast asia, and for two american missionaries. >> island resort. >> the dream became a nightmare. >> we were sure we would die. >> and a special operations commander enters the fray. >> unconventional warfare and unconventional operations. >> the philippines operations have had successful operations. >> hunting terror in paradise. that is next on "war stories." for years, islamic radicals have used this canopy as a safe
haven for spawning terrorists. this is "war stories" and i'm oliver north coming to you from the sue lieu province in the philippines. we are on grounds from where groups like abusaayaf and others have killed scores of filipinos while terrorizing scores of people. counter terrorism is taking place here by the filipinos backed by the united states, and join us as we look at this global war on terror. unconventional warfare, unconventional operations. >> the military is more than gun-kicking gun slingers. solving complex military problems.
>> working behind the scenes, training, advising, assisting local military the forces. >> a lot of military sharing. >> provide medical care to those who are in need. >> engineering projects, preparing the schools. >> creative problem-solvers who can operate with the local populations. >> very important that we maintain a high standard. >> it is pretty independent and train to be that way. >> as soon as i got into the special forces, i knew that i had found a home. >> the people here genuinely like americans. >> colonel dave maxwell is the commanding officer of joint operations task force in the philippines. >> thinking man's game. that is what it is about here. >> his team consists of sailors, soldiers, airmen and marines.
the exact number is classified, but the total is under 1,000. >> the philippines and the united states are allies and we have a special relationship and a long history together. >> the philippines, more than 7,000 islands became an american colony in 1898 after the spanish american war. but u.s. authority ended when world war ii began. 8, december, 1941, hours after the attack on pearl harbor, just after the philippine were the relationship was forged in blood. perhaps no place better symbolizes that than this
hallowed ground. the american cemetery here in manila is the final resting place for 17,202 u.s. service men and philippine scouts killed in world war ii. general mccarther was one of the few who escaped ordered to australia by president roosevelt it took him three years to fulfill his most famous promise. >> people of the philippines, i have returned. >> by the following year, the japanese had been defeated and they were were granted full independence. >> on behalf of the united states of america, i do hereby recognize the independence of the philippines. >> average filipino just loves americans. we probably have the biggest support for america in the whole world. >> gloria arroyo's father served
with the underground resistance during the occupation. she attended georgetown university in 19d 70 and in 2001 she became the president of the philippines. >> when you were a student at georgetown -- >> yes. >> did you think that you would be the president? >> no, i did not imagine that i would be the president of the philippines. even at that time, we were supportive of the united states, and together in the war against korea and the war against vietnam and now we are together in the war against terrorism. >> we know that dating back as far as 1995, terrorists have trained here and been linked to al qaeda. >> be behind the walls of the manila walls, this famous plot took place, and the master minds were ramzi yousef who tried to destroy the world trade center
in 1993, and his uncle, the notorious shaikh mohammad which is to use liquid explosives to blow up airliners over the pacific, and they also wanted to assassinate pope john paul in manila, but before the pope arrived, this hideout caught fire and the police discovered the hideout. they were tracked down and jailed where they remain today. but they realized that radical islam had taken root here. >> local and international terrorists are here. >> al qaeda is more than willing to provide hem with the munitions, and the financial support and resources. >> marine brigadier general john o'toolen. oversees the response to the war on terror. >> this is the apex of the
terrorist triangle which reaches up to the southern philippines, south of malaysia and connecting with indonesia. everything moves somehow through that area. >> the thousands of islands in the archipelago are spread over the hundreds of thousands of miles of ocean. in the southern philippines the population is almost exclusively muslim and quite the opposite in the north where the population is christian. these muslim regions are claimed suffer from neglect. >> they claim that they want to create a pure islamic nation and these are the people that are outside of their foreign terrorists. >> the leader of the philippine military response to terrorists is armed chief of staff. >> we are pursuing them in the southern island and particularly in the southern island where they have been cornered.
>> to understand the unique challenge of fighting terror here, "war stories" traveled to the lush tropical islands of sulu. this is a task force comet, a special task unit. we were allowed to are reveal his identity. >> we are allowed to assist in the helping the island. >> others we could not identify. >> a lot of it is compiling of information so they can get good actionable intelligence so they can effectively act against the asg. >> the asg or the abu saayaf group is one of the most ruthless terrorist groups in the world. task force comet conducts civil
military operations to deny terrorists a safe haven by providing good will to the people. >> they conduct civil engineering projects, and provide medical care, and projects that give rise to terror. >> one of the contributions of the support is the u.s. supported, and of course, it is the u.s. agency goals is the infrastructure development. >> major general ruben rafael is the comet commanding officer. >> construction of the roads and the buildings and other type advancement has affected our advancement. >> unconventional warfare is about using special operations, special forces to solve or assist in solving complex economic problems and that is what we face here. >> all to stop these islamic groups hell-bent on creating terror. >> they are an extraordinarily dangerous group. two american missionaries
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and gracia burnham. the muslim extremists were in the southern part of the philippines and we didn't think would affect us. >> martin and gracia burnham had worked for 18 years in the philippines as missionaries. martin was a pilot to support other missionaries. >> martin was flying and something that he loved to do. i was cooking for people and being on the radio. you deal with the heat and the bugs and the critters and the schedules that don't go right, and the weather, and we loved what we did. we were really enjoying life in the philippines. >> after years of a hard work, the couple planned a a brief getaway, and a weekend at the dos palmas island at the edge of the sulu sea. >> it was too costly for us to afford, but i thought that our anniversary was around the
corner and it would be our treat. >> in 2001, martin and gracia arrived at the seaside cottage. >> it was beautiful there, and we went to bed that night, and before dawn, the next morning right at dawn, there was a banging on the door. three guys with m-16s broke the door in. and one of them took martin right out, and one of them came over the bed and lowered his weapon at me and said, "go, go, go." >> the missionaries along with another american, californian guillermo sobero were ordered to board a speedboat. >> they took advantage of the tourist trade. >> some of them had masks on and just armed to the teeth. and when they had gotten all of us in the boat, then they began to shouting allah akbar, god is
great. that is when we knew who had us, and it was the abu saayaf. >> the primary means of raising money is kidnapping that. they'll kidnap local citizens for just a few thousand pesoes but they will look for larger targets, mostly westerners and americans to help them raise hundreds of millions of dollars of ransom money. >> never the philippines knows about the abu saayaf and they chop off people's heads and burn villages, and we knew that we were in big trouble. >> for five agonizing days the overloaded boat with the hostages traversed the sulu sea until they reached a island of steep mountains and dense jungle. >> we thought that when we got to the island that the cell phones would work, and the concessions would be made by the philippine government, and that we would all go home. >> but the nightmares were beginning.
>> the base camps are deep in the jungles. they use small paths to move between the camps and the mountains. >> i'm a city girl, and i don't like to the camp. here i was walking through the jungles, sleeping on the ground or for a few hours before we hiked some more. >> it is generally muddy, and overgrown and thick and dark and dank, but for them, it is their backyard and they know the trails. >> the leader, the emir of the abu saayaf was john >> he was the figure head. >> he was very flamboyant. they talked about osama bin laden quite often. bin laden was a hero to them.
>> the hostages with were also forced to make videos to support the terrorists' ransom demands. >> i martin burnham and my wife, gracia, were taken hostage by the abu saayaf terror group. >> they had martin do a statement one day with a video camera to give all of the grievances against the government. >> they are targeting europeans and citizens of western nations. >> the abu saayaf group started to get press and attention. >> but as the days and the weeks turned into months, the burnham s fell into despair. after four months of captivity in the jungle and no connection to the outside world, they were allowed to listen to one of the radios. >> you could tell something was up, and i was allowed to go over
there, and i was not invited, and martin patted the ground and said to me, "listen to this, something has happened in america." they were listening to "voice of america" and listening about the planes that had hit the twin towers. >> coming up -- >> we were sitting there aghast. and they were of course jumping around patting each other on the back. >> the philippines' marines close in on the marine base to free the burnhams. that is next. at ally bank no branches equals great rates. it's a fact. kind of like ordering wine equals pretending to know wine. pinot noir, which means peanut of the night. spending the day with my niece. that make me smile. i don't use super poligrip for hold,
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american remembers where they were that day, and gracia burnham certainly will will never forget. >> they were held inside of a camp. >> each night i was chained to the tree, and my wife is no longer chained. they have given her some freedom as a lady. and i'm thankful for that. >> as their captors, the abu saayaf were triumphant. >> they were certainly jumping around. and then we heard nothing else about it. >> four months after 9/11 special forces began to arrive quiet in the philippines to help them with their fight against terror. >> and they requested help from our special operations to eliminate safe havens. >> especially on the island.
by march the island was crawling with armed forces. >> and we were being hunt and we had sporadic gun battles. every time we we were found, there was a gun battle. it was rambo-style camp. and we wanted to be negotiated out. when we first got there, there were about 80. then we joined up with a group of 120. that was quite a line of people walking through the jungle. we would eat the amount of food that we were given and we started to steadily lose weight and began starving. >> last night they started with the pre-dawn breakfast and the boys started with the rice, but there was none left for us. >> the terrorists wanted money, but the abu saayaf had harassed the captors by staging proof of life photos. >> they would tell me to smile. i thought, am i supposed to
smile. >> the noose was tightening. >> they would move them regularly with the small outrigger boats. with powered engines. >> and this is the deputy of the marine corps southern command, and he would receive information from the locals about where the terrorists were hiding. >> we would try to link it up with the intelligence and the military operations. >> 7 june, 2002, 13 months into the martin and gracia's ordeal, 500 philippine soldiers and marines closed in on the camp. >> they opened up fire on us. there was a big gun battle, and i kept thinking that this is my last moment. we knew what to do. you drop. but before i got to the ground, i was hit in the leg. i slid down the steep slope we were on, and i came to rest beside martin and i looked over
at him, and he was bleeding from his chest. then i started hearing the abu saayaf retreating down the river. >> four terrorists were killed and the abu saayaf including janjalani fled the jungle. >> i looked at martin and he was white. that's when i knew he was dead. he had a good heart, and he always thought the best of everyone. >> a wounded gracia was flown by helicopter to the embassy in manila. >> and during our ordeal, we were repeatedly lied to by the abu saayaf. >> i remember having peace that one of us was going home to our children. as i went to sleep that night, i thought, my martin is not chained. for the first time tonight
martin is not chained. he is free. >> the philippine government gives the order of capture or kill, and the u.s. steps up the assistance next on "war stories." the pursuit of healthier. it begins from the second we're born. because, healthier doesn't happen all by itself. it needs to be earned every day. using wellness to keep away illness. and believing a single life can be made better by millions of others. as a health services and innovation company optum powers modern healthcare by connecting every part of it. so while the world keeps searching for healthier we're here to make healthier happen. but it is not the device mobithat is mobile, it is you.
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scholarships has been invested by the members and life partners of the association. learn more at horatioalger.org keep it here for the latest in business and financial news. this is war. the philippine fight against islamic terror. colonel, tell me what this is now, and what it used to be. >> well, this is now the headquarters of the marine batallion 101, but this used to be the camp of rogue camp. >> it isn't the only islamic terror group in the philippines. the mnlf has since signed a peace agreement with manila. today a faction of that group continues to fight the government. in may 2007, the colonel who is
the commander of the second marine brigade met them in bloody battle. you led one of the counterattacks? >> yes, the final assault. >> this is the colonel who is under fire and leading from the front. how many casualties did you take? >> four u.s. killed in action, and 39 wounded. >> no americans were involved in the fight, but the philippine casualties mounted a u.s. army special forces medic stepped in. >> we took shelter in a bunker, and then i was asked to assist in treatment of casualties. >> how bad? >> we had severe casualties at this time. several amputation, and gunshot wounds and shrapnel wounds, and one patient lost his colon and took six units of blood to keep him alive. >> you saved him? >> yes, i did. >> there has to be enormous satisfaction? >> great satisfaction to do your job after a year and a half of
training, sir. >> well done. >> thank you. >> we are told that we cannot reveal your identity. why are the identities of special forces personnel protected? >> mostly because of the sensitivity of the mission, and the terrorist groups that are operating near the philippines have international ties. >> the special forces are cloaked in secrecy, but the many mission in the philippines more about brains than bullets, the special ops personnel are often called upon to perform tasks as dangerous as any in war. they possess the endurance and skill of professional athletes and asked to master complex assistance and foreign language s and exotic cultures. >> i did my graduate work at harvard. >> generally, we are older, than the soldiers in the regular army, and we have a little bit more education, and the training is extensive which is going to
allow us to use more brains than brawn when it comes to the sensitive missions. >> colonel, what are the qualities that you are using for as a member of the joint special operations task force? >> we want people who are creative problem solvers to work with local populations, and think in teams. >> and socom at macdill air force base headquartered in the florida includes army, navy, air force and marines. task force in the philippines is a typical socom operation. >> i have u.s. marines down here, and navy personnel and both special operations, and naval folks both. >> and the army green berets are deployed in small units called the a-teams. >> it is a 12-man unit commanded by a captain who is assisted by a warrant officer. and there are specialties of the a-team.
the weapons sergeant, and the engineer specialist, and communication specialist, and then finally the medic. >> this is a typical a-team compound. they have their own perimeter inside of a filipino complex base where they are immersed. >> it is vitally important to earn the respect and the trust of the people that you are working with. to do that, a good special forces soldier has to have a characteristic of humility. there are 12 men with rifles and the cavalry that is nowhere near. you have to earn that trust and respect from the host nation. we do a lot of exercises with the special forces of the u.s. >> major general victor bravado coordinates the special operations. and stories travel to his headquarters an hour outside of manila. >> we are have the special forces which is similar to the special forces to the u.s. army.
and we have the skull rangers which are basically the same rangers of the u.s., and we have the lrb which is the main forces. >> the tough guys? >> yes, well train and highly motivated, and they enjoy their work. >> the u.s. military has been here providing temporarily assistance to the forces? >> mainly they help us in training, and some of their guys are there to give advice to the troops during the operations. >> all clear. >> this is a philippine fight, and with we are proud to assist in the fight. >> in a nation comprised of more than 7,000 islands, maritime commerce is essential to the economy, but the terrorists use these same waterways to commit the crimes making sea borne operations an essential part of winning the war on terror. >> u.s. navy s.e.a.l.s are
perfect partners when it comes to counter operations. they work hand in hand with the filipino s.e.a.l.s and marines. this colonel's unit is based north of the equator near the island of tawi-tawi. that means far far. >> in the waters of tawi-tawi, you have to have a plan. >> it is difficult, but they have had success. on 6 january, 2007, the abu saayaf commander was on the run, and they received intelligence of his whereabouts. >> and the night that you apprehended black killer, tell me about the operation. >> we were informed that the group of black killer was about to be in our area. >> the marines intercepted a terrorist boat near tawi-tawi. >> they said they were all dead
and cold. >> it takes a team effort to team up to get to the abu saayaf. that is next on "war stories." [ male announcer ] whether it takes 200,000 parts, ♪ 800,000 hours of supercomputing time, 3 million lines of code, 40,000 sets of eyes, or a million sleepless nights. whether it's building the world's most advanced satellite, the space station, or the next leap in unmanned systems. at boeing, one thing never changes. our passion to make it real. ♪
to defeat islamic terror, the philippine and the united states special forces have to do more than just kill terrorists. >> the terrorism here in the philippines is brought about by poverty so if we can fight poverty than we can fight terrorism more effectively. >> and since we have been here since 2002, we have seen tremendous changes. >> that is by building bridges literally, and building infrastructure, and schools, and providing medical support, an assistance so that the population can feel that the government cares for them. >> how did that policy begin here in the philippines? >> oh, it is started all of the way from the top, from me, the commander in chief, and i am glad that it is so unified. >> the philippines have made incredible strides. they have found precision tools
that have really addressed the problem without turning the population against them. >> the u.s. government has put a huge investment. >> christy kinney is the u.s. ambassador to the philippines. >> we are trying to give people who have been hurt in conflict a very hope, a livelihood of chance. >> the better the lives of people so they don't have to resort to terrorism and insurgency. >> the camps that are going on, they are happening on a regular basis, and the dentist is the most popular of all by the way. >> the medical programs treat even those who might be the enemy. >> and we will have a very good turnout and about 200 patients. >> i heard a couple of days ago you were treating a child who was from an enemy camp? >> yes, a little boy who had needed help, and so we spread the word, hey, look, no worries, if you need treatment, we will
treat you. >> we have a veterinarian assigned to the special forces unit and he is useful in places like this. >> we are trying to vaccinate as many animals against rabies, and we treat cattle, the water buffalo that they have here. >> when a family accumulates some money, and wealth, they pool it together and buy a cow. the cow is essentially the savings plan for the family. >> we are trying to help to ensure that the animals that they use for their livelihood are well cared for. >> we provide vaccinations and whatever it is that the animal needs. it makes a real difference in the people's lives. >> and hold it, please. >> thank you, a lot for all american. >> we have invested in computers and quality education, and we have visited a little school where the computers have been donated.
>> on that project in particular, the u.s. special forces along with the filipino engineers refurbished the buildings that allowed the usaid program to come in. >> the us aid program funds billions of dollars every year in the philippines. projects like this bridge are changing lives for the better. how many people have you put to work on this project? >> the subcontractor alone, they have a crew of 80 people here. >> and this is a group of usaid that is a project called g.e.m. when this is completed, it is not the end of the program? >> no, this is ending the end of the fiscal year, but already, it is a way to build for the third phase of the program. >> that is going to be putting
people back to work and giving them a worthwhile profession and it is amazing. >> this bridge is just one of dozens of u.s.-funded projects in the southern philippines. new roads, sewage systems, and village docks. "war stories" attended the opening of a new dock. we we met former mnlf rebels who now cooperate with the government. why did you decide to become a part of the government? >> i feed to make a living. i have one child in college. >> you have one child in college. thank you very much for taking the time to join us today. >> thank you very much. >> the government and the united states have demonstrated that they are here to stay and the people are appreciative of it. >> and private american citizens are volunteering to help. and this man who was born in italy first arrived in 2006.
>> i believe in the youth of this area. they need to be uplifted. >> he started the 3p foundation, bettering the lives of the people. >> you have donated this ambulance. you have helped to build clinics and schools. >> i don't like to say it, that i donated, but it is the people of the united states donated it, because they care what is happening here. >> and did he deliver all of the right stuff? >> yeah. and we are very thankful to him. >> and this civil approach to counter terrorism here in the philippines is achieving remarkable results, and creating the conditions for success in their war on terror. >> and we are continuing to provide development and hope for people who would not otherwise have it. >> i think it is good to be contributed to crystallize and enhance the relationships between the people and the armed forces.
>> we have to get rid of the conditions of terrorism. the people of the philippines are focused on, and we rehelping in that fight. >> next on "war stories" -- >> we were repeatedly lied to by the abu saayaf. they should be treated like common criminals. >> how the marines tracked down and killed the notorious burnham kidnappers. at ally bank no branches equals great rates. it's a fact. kind of like playing the boss equals the boss wins. wow!
in the philippines the civil military operation has helped the people to put them to work and improve their lives have far reaching effects for the country's military forces. >> we believe that if the people are on your side, we will win the war. >> and also counter intelligence and counter insurgency. >> yes, counter intelligence drives the service, and without that intelligence that they provide, we can't find the terrorists. >> we see that the people are talking to the intelligence officers. why are they doing that now? >> because they see us assisting the abu saayaf, and they see that it is a change of the atmosphere, and we have helped many people. >> they are providing information. >> the information is about these men, the philippines' most wanted terrorists. colonel martin pinto assigned the island in 2006 received a civilian tip on the island's most wanted.
>> the civilian, he told me, and this is they told me where to find him. >> khadafy janjalani still free six years after gracia burnham was freed. >> he was in my area. >> and so they made a plan. >> we had young people who were willing to sacrifice. >> 4 september, 2006. >> it was on or about 0500. >> that day, the lieutenant led a platoon deep into the jungle where they pinpointed the abu saayaf base camp. >> it was the perfect timing for an attack. and the sergeant started engaging.
and we threw hand grenades about ten hand grenades and then when it exploded, we followed it up with a heavy volume of fire. bullets with were coming from the different direction. six of my men were killed. 15 including me were wounded. >> where were you wounded? >> below my chest. >> janjalani, the kidnapper of martin and gracia burnham was mortally wounded. >> i would like to announce that we have recovered the body of khadaffy janjalani. >> they were happy to die in jihad. >> you did well. you are a brave marine. >> thank you, sir.
>> to come forward with information to lead to capture terrorists. >> the u.s. government sponsored the rewards for justice program. >> we are giving out money for the abu saayaf. >> and ambassador kinney and general esperon led the ceremony. >> and the ones who are making the effort, i would like to take this opportunity to once again thank our american partners and friends led by this ambassador. >> ladies and gentlemen, we are here today to honor heroes who have had the courage to step forward to make sure that the rest of us can live our lives in peace. these are people whose lives have been at risk.
>> and so it is showing the whole world that they are. >> and on behalf of the united states government, am proud to give $10 million u.s. dollars to brave citizens, and i will be proud to give more money to citizens who are going to step forward to keep citizens safe. >> a reward for the justice system. >> and thank you from me and the friends of the united states of america. >> what is your greatest sense of success that we have had in southeast asia? >> they have identified, located and killed three key leaders of abu saayaf, and they feel the success, the armed forces has got a great deal of pride, and they are have done it themselves with just really the background support of our special operators working behind the scenes to the assist them.
>> more tales of commitment and courage from the philippines coming up. don't go away. ñ??w this is a global world and terrorists trained here can affect u.s. citizens throughout the world. >> and we should be proud of what we are doing together in the philippine, and it is a very good model that can be studied perhaps for other parts of the world. >> as a formula, kit can be applied eventually in iraq and
afghanistan. >> how do you assess the mission? >> the armed forces of the philippines have had tremendous success, but we are not successful. this is at best a model to support a country in their fight against terrorism. >> i would like to thank the united states for their help. >> and i would like to say that we have people who grew up fight manage the mountains of montana, and people who are rhodes scholars, and the fact is that they have the desire to be the best. >> and in the past it was unthinkable for a private citizen here to help the philippine government against islamic terror, but now thanks to u.s. aid both civil and military and the courage of the philippine armed forces the