Abu Sayyaf
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BELLEVILLE, Michigan — The reign of terror by the dreaded Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the Philippines may soon be over.

This optimism arises from a report that Lockheed Martin’s Tactical Reconnaissance and Counter-Concealment-Enabled Radar (TRACER) is now being deployed with military forces assigned to the United States’ Southern Command (Southcom).

TRACER is designed to detect objects that are buried, camouflaged or concealed under dense foliage, Lockheed said.

After successfully completing operational evaluations, the radar will support Southcom’s counterterrorism, humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief operations, a Lockheed press release stated.

Company officials say the lightweight, low-frequency, synthetic aperture radar can provide real-time, high quality ground imagery through rain, dust storms and atmospheric haze.

The radar will be fitted to Army C-12 aircraft for Southcom missions, according to Lockheed.

Reacting to this report, a former officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), who immigrated last year here in Michigan, said the AFP’s own Southern Command can use TRACER in the protracted war against the Abu Sayyaf bandits who have been hiding in the thickly forested mountains in Mindanao.

Often, the bandits, who are notorious for the beheading of their kidnap or ambush victims who include soldiers, have eluded pursuing troops by taking refuge in the dense forests in Sulu and Basilan, said the former AFP officer, who did not want to be identified.

The Abu Sayyaf, whose members are said to be extreme religious fundamentalists, is linked to Al Qaeda, an international terrorist network.

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