ASIAWATCH — A relative unknown has been named Valentine’s Day Terrorist of the year by famed journalist and sometimes impresario Sheikh Ya’erbuti. Speaking from his private yacht, Ya’erbuti said the honor was bestowed on Amin Bacho after he was weaned out through a tough process of elimination.
Ya’erbuti said Amin faced stiff competition, particularly from the Malaysian terrorist and bomb maker Zulkifli Khir, also known as Marwan, among the last leaders of the regional Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror network, and Omar Patek who was arrested in Pakistan earlier this year not far from his old friend, that global mastermind of death, Osama bin Laden.
Marwan was recently killed in a bombing raid over the Southern Philippines after earlier escaping a dragnet set-up by Malaysian police in the isolated town of Tawau near the Indonesian border on the east coast of north Borneo.
That operation netted 13 suspected terrorist although Marwan, along with Amin, escaped and headed for the Southern Philippines along with Jeknal Adil – a young up and comer on the militant circuit in Southeast Asia who Ya’erbuti says could be a future winner of his illustrious prize.
The award was the third in the series. Noordin Mohammad Top won the inaugural Valentine’s Day prize posthumously in 2010 after he was gunned down by Indonesian authorities following an international man hunt and a very merry dance.
In 2011, the prize was afforded to Abu Bakar Bashir who as spiritual head of JI has managed to avoid the death penalty in Indonesia but now remains happily behind bars.
Ya’erbuti said while receiving Valentine’s Day wishes from his legions of fans. “Most of the region’s terrorists are in jail, dead or are sunning themselves on the beaches of Mindanao. The fact that Amin is still among us deserves a merit badge.”
As always Ya’erbuti looked elegant in white and was flanked by his support crew, including the ever-loyal man-servant Waqil (EDS: ONE NAME) who sat proudly atop his camel, Spit. Ya’erbuti added that Amin could become the face of terrorism into the next decade.
Analysts, however, said they were surprised by the choice, and that Omar Patek was probably a better choice given he is currently before the Indonesian courts after his vacation stint in Pakistan with bin Laden, who was killed in May.
Ya’erbuti said he was aware of the dissention and added: “Simply because bin Laden bore an uncanny resemblance to the Grim Reaper and was posing for holiday snaps with Patek should not mean automatic brownie points for Patek.
“The difference is Amin is free to pursue his chosen career as a regional terrorist and we’d like to take this award forward as opposed to too often focusing on has beens. Death or jailing simply means you are out of the game and no longer worthy,” Ya’erbuti said. “And how good is this man Amin? We can’t even find a photo of him!”
Note: Amin Bacho has often been spelled Bacon, Boca and Bochi