The terror group is a radical offshoot of a Muslim separatist insurgency. Since the 1970s, they have already killed more than 120,000 people in the south of the Philippines.
Several of them have pledged their alliances to the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria but analysts debunked this, saying that they are more interested in funding than the ideology.
|Photo by Robsinson Ninal|
The Abu Sayyaf is a notorious group that is blamed for bombings, kidnappings for ransom, and murder of foreign and local hostages. They were responsible for the attack on a ferry in Manila Bay in 2014 that killed 116 people. It was the country’s deadliest terror assault.
In 2002, they beheaded an American man, followed by a Malaysian last year, and two Canadians just this April and June.
They are considered as a “foreign terrorist organisation” by the United States.
According to military estimates, the group’s forces are 400, from an original 1,000.
WHERE ARE THEY LOCATED?
The Abu Sayyaf are mainly in the Muslim-populated areas of Jolo and Basilan, in the far south of the country. They snatch their victims and then hide among sympathetic Muslim communities.
Recently, the group has expanded to include high seas kidnappings of sailors in the border of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
WHAT MEASURES HAVE BEEN TAKENT TO DEFEAT THEM?
The US has deployed Special Forces advisers to train and provide intel to Filipino troops from 2002 to 2014. However, they had to withdraw after the Pentagon said that the group already lost the ability to launch international attacks.
Several presidents have also declared wars against them. Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to be involved in patrols to prevent the high seas kidnappings.
However, their ransom money, assistance from locals, and their mastery in the terrain have greatly helped them to avoid the government.
ARE THEY REALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DAVAO BOMBING?
According to officials, it is likely that the Abu Sayyaf carried out the attack as a retaliation for a military offensive declared by President Duterte last week to destroy the group.
National Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the terror group has a history of launching attacks outside their ‘turf’ whenever they are compromised by government operations.
The group had claimed responsibility for the three bombings in 2005—one in Davao, another one in a nearby city, and the third in Manila. It killed eight people. It was, they said, in response to an offensive against them. ASCS
Source: ABS-CBN News
Get schooled: 5 basic things about the Abu Sayyaf Reviewed by FilipiNews PH on Monday, September 05, 2016 Rating: