U.S. to Disband Philippine Terror Unit

After more than 10 years working to fight militants linked to al Qaeda, the U.S. is withdrawing its anti-terror unit of hundreds of American troops from the southern Philippines, where they have fought groups like Abu Sayyaf. The unit was put in place a year after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. They helped Filipino forces against Abu Sayyaf militants that terrorized communities and kidnapped more than 100 people, including three Americans. The U.S. forces, who were there in an advice, training, and intelligence capacity, managed to reduce Abu Sayyaf from a few thousand fighters to about 300. The success has led the U.S. military “to begin working on a transition plan where the JSOTF-P as a task force will no longer exist,” according to a U.S. embassy statement.