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U.S. Moves Against Philippines-Based Terror Group

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 16, 2008

Designation of the Rajah Solaiman Movement (RSM) and Ahmad (Ahmed) Santos

On June 4, 2008, the United Nations Security Council added the Philippines-based Rajah Solaiman Movement (RSM) and eight of its members to the UN 1267 Committee’s Consolidated List of individuals and entities affiliated with al-Qaida (AQ), the Taliban, or Usama Bin Ladin (UBL). To implement this UN action, on June 16, 2008 the Department of State designated RSM and its leader, Ahmad (Ahmed) Santos, under E.O. 13224 as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. Seven additional RSM operatives have also been designated under Executive Order 13224 by the Treasury Department. RSM has received training, funds, and operational assistance from the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and Jemaah Islamiya, two designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, which are also included on the UN 1267 list.

The RSM, a Philippines-based extremist group, was established by Ahmad Santos in January 2002. Santos, has been involved in the planning of bombings against Philippine and non-Philippine civilians and the stockpiling of weapons to conduct those operations. RSM has assisted with terrorist plots of the ASG in Manila and in the northern Philippines. In February 2004, RSM members were involved in ASG’s bombing of Super Ferry 14, resulting in the loss of an estimated 116 lives, the worst act of maritime terrorism in recent history. RSM members were also involved in the February 2005 Valentine’s Day bombings in the Philippine cities of Manila, General Santos and Davao as well as several plots to bomb high profile targets, including Manila public utilities, tourist areas, and the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

All UN member states are obligated to freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of listed individuals and entities included on the 1267 Committee’s Consolidated List and to apply other sanctions (travel ban and arms embargo). The United States implements its asset freeze through E.O. 13224, which blocks all property, and interests in property, of the designees that are in the United States, or come within the United States, or the control of U.S. persons.

Released on June 16, 2008


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