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Americans killed by al Qaeda in the Philippines and Kuwait: after nearly three months of relative calm, two more uniformed Americans were killed in October. (War On Terrorism).

The war on terrorism turned deadly again in October as a Green Beret and a Marine were killed within a week of each other on opposite sides of the world.

On Oct. 2, a bomb exploded outside a restaurant frequented by Special Forces soldiers in Zamboanga in the southern Philippines. Killed in the blast was Sgt. 1st Class Mark Wayne Jackson of the 1st Special Forces Group. Another Green Beret and about two dozen bystanders were wounded. Jackson and the other Green Beret were based at Camp Enrile Malagutay, which is across the street from the blast site.

Jackson was part of a 260-member special-operations task force providing humanitarian assistance in Zamboanga and Basilan. It is the remnant of a 660-member U.S. force that trained Philippine military forces from January to August. Jackson's contingent was refurbishing hospitals and schools, digging wells and providing medical assistance, according to Maj. Cynthia Teramae, spokeswoman for U.S. Special Operations Command, Pacific.

Another group of U.S. special-operations troops is expected to resume training Philippine military forces in February. That mission should last throughout next year, raising two Philippine light reaction companies and four light infantry battalions.

Within days of the bombing, Philippine government forces arrested Jordanian businessman Mohammad Amin Al-Ghaffari, director of the Islamic Wisdom Worldwide Mission, Inc., reportedly funded by al Qaeda. Al-Ghaffari also was quickly linked to some of Southeast Asia's worst terrorist and criminal groups.

"Initially, he was placed under surveillance after we established that he was in constant contact with members of Jemaah Islamiyah, mostly Indonesians, in the country, Abu Sayyaf bandits and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front," an unidentified Philippine intelligence agent told the Philippine Star.

Al Qaeda Operatives Attack Marines

On Oct. 8, one Marine was killed and another wounded during a training exercise on Failaka Island, off Kuwait. Marine Lance Cpl. Antonio J. Sledd of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit died of wounds received after two Kuwaiti nationals with ties to al Qaeda attacked his unit.

Sledd's unit was practicing urban warfare tactics in a non-live fire exercise, meaning the Marines had no ammunition in their weapons. After the two Kuwaitis fired on the unit and fled in a pickup truck, Marine security guards quickly hunted down and killed them.

Two days later on the Kuwaiti mainland, armed civilians again fired on Marines. The Marines returned fire, but reported no casualties.

The Kuwaiti government termed the first incident a terrorist attack and began investigating the head of Kuwait's main mosque for ties to the two assailants.

Shortly after the attack, the Pentagon said the two terrorists had trained in al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and had relatives being held at Camp Delta on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

American War Fatalities

Oct. 2, Army Sgt. 1st Class Mark W. Jackson, 1st Special Forces Group, bomb explosion, KIA, Philippines

Oct. 8, Marine Lance Cpl. Antonio J. Sledd, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, ambush, KIA, Kuwait

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Publication:VFW Magazine
Date:Dec 1, 2002
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