Philippines Launches New Anti-kidnapping Force

Published February 21, 2012 7:36AM (EST)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine police have launched a new anti-kidnapping force to deal with the long-standing scourge by criminal syndicates and al-Qaida-linked militants.

Kidnappings for ransom have been cited for spooking would-be investors and tourists and allowing al-Qaida-linked groups like the Abu Sayyaf in the southern Philippines to finance terrorist attacks and endure years of U.S.-backed military crackdowns that have severed their known ties with foreign donors.

National police chief Director-General Nicanor Bartolome said Tuesday that the Anti-kidnapping Group would focus solely on the problem and replace the Police Anti-Crime and Emergency Response, which dealt for a decade with hundreds of abduction cases but also high-profile killings and other crimes.

By Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------