I am inspired to be involved in counter-terrorism due to my willingness to serve beyond the call of duty. Consequently, even during life-threatening missions, despite being outnumbered behind enemy lines in hostile territory, I was able to stand my own ground on counter-terrorism. The clandestine relationship between Jemaah-Islamiyah and Abu-Sayyaf with Al-Qaeda warrants a closer scrutiny when tracing the scent trail of Osama bin Laden to Abbottabad. I first provided a scent trail of the possible hideout of Osama at Abbottabad in November 2000. My discovery of the incipient plot of 9/11, which was then being hatched by Al-Qaeda and its affiliates; could be backdated to 1999 when I first got wind of a subterfuge to plan a jihadist attack on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and Capitol on precisely September 11 2001. 5 months later in May 2001 after my departure from San Francisco in December 2000, Martin and Gracia Burnham were kidnapped by Abu-Sayyaf in Philippines. The materialization of 9/11 was partially attributable to the nonchalance of the US government under the then Clinton Administration and when the Bush Administration was sworn in on January 2001, ostensibly, my provided scent trail was overlooked. This could be achieved through the interpolation of critical failures in counter-terrorism measures which ultimately led to the 9/11 attacks. In other words, if there had had been sufficient stress-testing of counter-terrorism measures, among the various federal and state agencies, in the months before 9/11; then the 9/11 attacks would, in all probability, have had been prevented. Nevertheless, my counter-intelligence had laid the groundwork for the success of Operation Neptune Spear in May 2011 when Osama was eventually killed. Incidentally, Mas Selamat was inspired by Osama and his plotting of the 9/11 attacks in the US. He had planned similar attacks in Singapore and monitored the movement of Americans in Singapore in order to carry out mass assassinations. He escaped from detention and fled to Malaysia as a fugitive until I discovered his hideout at Skudai in January 2009. I issued a security alert at about 3 PM Singapore Time (13 Nov 2015) regarding an imminent terrorist attack in Paris which eventually materialized within 12 hours! I even advised urgent cancellation of flights to Paris from Singapore. This is to minimize the number of casualties from Singapore in the ensuing terrorist attacks in Paris. Why did I do this? Because the word “counter-terrorism” itself inherently implies that preventing terrorism is intrinsically better than mitigating the aftermath impact of a terrorist attack. Therefore, undoubtedly, one of the best way to prevent any terrorist attack is to gather counter-intelligence in order to detect planned terrorist attacks in advance; and then to forestall any imminent attack by devoting adequate resources (such as bomb-detection devices) on locations (such as airports) which have been targeted. This is yet another testament of my proven strategy of 3 “Ds” which are to 1) de-radicalize religious extremism, 2) detect planned terrorist attacks in advance and 3) devote resources in forestalling imminent terrorist attacks.
David Yiow Tan