BAYAN USA Legal Desk Request to FBI
Re: Marwan/Oplan Exodus/Mamasapano Incident
January 25, 2016
To Whom It May Concern:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. §552. We hereby request copies of records, correspondence documents, reports, memoranda, photographs, opinions, written or typed notes, and/or audio recordings (collectively, hereinafter “records”) that were created, used, or maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) pertaining to Zulkifli Abdhir, also known as Zulkifli bin Hir and Marwan, one of the FBI’s former Most Wanted Terrorists, whose death the FBI declared on April 1, 2015 as a result of Operation Exodus led by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF), which took place on January 25, 2015 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, Philippines.
These include, but are not limited to:
- internal or inter-agency correspondence between David Bowdich, the Assistant Director in charge of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office, and the PNP Director General Alan Purisima, SAF commander Director Getulio Napenas, or other Philippine authorities, pertaining to Marwan’s apprehension through the execution of Operation Plan Exodus;
- manuals or guidelines used by agents of the U.S. in training PNP SAF to execute Operation Plan Exodus, or other similar operations with the aim of apprehending Marwan;
- responses to requests from the Philippine government to assist in the evacuation of the dead and wounded in the aftermath of Operation Plan Exodus;
- internal or inter-agency correspondence between David Bowdich, the Assistant Director in charge of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office, and the PNP Director General Alan Purisima, SAF commander Director Getulio Napenas, or other Philippine authorities, granting access to and transferring possession of Marwan’s DNA sample from the Philippines to the United States;
- results of the evidentiary analysis done by the FBI Laboratory indicating the positive DNA identification of Marwan;
- any photos that PNP SAF troopers took of Marwan’s remains at the site of Operation Plan Exodus;
- any declarations by the FBI of Marwan’s death, dated between January 25, 2015, and April 1, 2015;
- provision of any monetary award to the PNP SAF, or other Philippine authorities, in exchange for Marwan’s positive DNA identification, such as the $5 million reward that the U.S. State Department offered for Marwan’s arrest; and
- any other inter-agency correspondence between David Bowdich, the Assistant Director in charge of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg, Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Justice, National Security Agency, U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Pacific Command regarding Marwan’s death.
We request that the documents be obtained through a hand or electronic search within the following locations, but not limited to: the FBI’s main file records, cross-reference records, and through an Electronic Surveillance (ELSUR) search. As FOIA requires, please release all reasonably segregable, nonexempt portions of any responsive documents. 5 U.S.C. §552(b).
If the records are available electronically, we request that they be provided electronically. Please respond with all applicable documents to:
For those documents that are not available electronically, please mail them to:
BAYAN USA Legal Desk
℅ Jackelyn Mariano
Fee Waiver Request
Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. §552(a)(4)(A)(iii), we request that fees be waived because the requested documents are not sought for commercial usage and will be made available to the public free of charge on BAYAN USA’s website (https://www.bayanusa.org). The disclosure of these documents is in the public interest and will likely contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government.
BAYAN USA is an alliance of 20 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing students, scholars, women, workers, artists, and youth. As the first and largest international chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN Philippines), BAYAN USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a center for educating, organizing, and mobilizing Filipinos in the U.S.
This request clearly meets the standards set forth in favor of a public interest fee waiver. Records pertaining to Marwan will greatly deepen our understanding of the historical military alliance between the United States and the Philippines and current cooperation in counterterrorism efforts in the Philippines.
In the event that the fees cannot be waived, we would be grateful if you would inform us of the total charges in advance of fulfilling our request.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. We look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.
Legal Desk, BAYAN USA