Inside the Manhunt

John Wilson for TIME

Col. Bill Coultrup leads the U.S. Joint Special Operations Task Force helping Philippine soldiers track down terrorists. One of their tools is a multimillion-dollar rewards program

Congressional staffer voltaire Mahasol was trying to ignore the crowd outside his window in downtown Zamboanga in the far south of the Philippines. Mainly old women and young children, they were waiting for a plane at the Edwin Andrews Air Base across the road, a free flight on the transport being one of the perks for relatives of military personnel.

Suddenly a great gout of smoke and flame blotted the crowd from his view, blowing in his window and smashing him out of his chair into the wall. "People were shouting. The whole site...

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