Actions of the Abu Sayyaf
The Abu Sayyaf group
is a small Islamic group but the most radical and most violent
organized Islamic group in
the Philippines. The group is active with armed confrontations and
still proclaims that they fight against the national army for an independent Muslim state in the south.
Until now (January 2003) the group refused to take
part in any peace process between the government and other Muslims
organizations. Last years it appears that they are
only active with terror for financial profit. The group is mostly active on the island
of Mindanao and the islands south of Mindanao.
Information on some recent
of bombs arrested
Five men were arrested in a
house in the south of the Philippines, while they were busy with
constructing a bomb. The five men are all members of the Abu Sayyaf. They
are suspects of several bombings in southern Philippines.
in shopping center
took place in the central shopping district of Zamboanga City, the central
city of West Mindanao. Seven people were killed and eleven persons were
were killed and 25 were wounded in a gun battle in the tropical
jungle of Jolo in the southern Philippines. The soldiers were searching
for 3 Indonesian men and four Philippine Christians, who were being held
hostage by Abu Sayyaf rebels.
explode in Santos City
On a Sunday
in April 2002 three bombs
exploded in General Santos City, in the southern part of Mindanao. 14
People were killed, including four children under the age of ten. More
than 70 other people were injured. The bomb was hidden in an empty
motorcycle taxi. Within half an hour two other bombs exploded, one
on the highway and one under a bridge at the city's port. The
police reported that they were convinced that the Sunday's
bombings were the work of one of the region's Islamic militant groups.
Series of Bombings in Philippines",
ICT (Institute for Counter terrorism), April 22, 2002
sources: Associated Press, Reuters,
Manila Times, Philippine Star, Philippine Inquirer
Abu Sayyaf active in
a Malaysian dive resort
Sayyaf members crossed the border of neighbour country Malaysia to have a
quick and short visit to a beach resort on one of the Malaysian island.
They returned with almost two dozen hostages. The kidnapping of 21
persons, 10, mostly European tourists and 11 resort workers in April 2000,
was spectacular. The kidnapped tourists were on holidays in a
dive & beach resort on an island in the neighbour country
Malaysia. By fast, small boats, they were brought by the rebels to
Jolo, one of the small islands south of Mindanao. After many months
all of the hostages were freed, but only after paying huge amounts of
American dollars. About 1 million American dollar per hostage was paid.
In 1991 the Abu Sayyaf group split off
from the bigger group MNLF. They are mostly based
in the islands Basilan, Sulu island and on the Tawi-Tawi islands.
The name of the group
"Abu Sayyaf" was named after a Mujahedin fighter (a warlord) in
Afghanistan. The meaning of the name 'Abu Sayyaf' is "Bearer
of the Sword". The warlord fought in the 1980s against the
Soviet-backed regime. The Abu Sayyaf group
has now ties to Islamic organizations around the world. One of these
organizations is Osama bin Laden's al Qaida.
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