Accession Number : ADA439349

Title :   Balik Terrorism: The Return of the Abu Sayyaf


Personal Author(s) : Abuza, Zachary

Full Text :

Report Date : Sep 2005

Pagination or Media Count : 69

Abstract : The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has re-emerged as one of the more important terrorist groups confronting the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), the United States, and our allies in Southeast Asia. Founded in 1991 by Abdurrajak Janjalani, a veteran of the Afghan Mujiheddin and colleague of Osama bin Laden, the group quickly rose to prominence as a lethal terrorist organization committed to the establishment of an independent Islamic state. With funds from Saudi charities administered by bin Laden's brother-in-law, Mohammad Jamal Khalifa, the ASG grew quickly. The group focused its terrorist, assassination, and kidnapping efforts on sectarian targets. Yet, following the plot led by Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to blow up 11 U.S. jetliners and assassinate the Pope, Khalifa's and the ASG's roles were uncovered. Khalifa was unable to return to the Philippines, and while his charities remained open, they were unable to support the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the ASG as they had in the past. The ASG was further weakened by a number of arrests and the death of their founder in December 1998. The group quickly degenerated into a number of violent, though hardly political, kidnappers. The group gained international notoriety in 2000 with high-profile raids on diving resorts in Palawan and Sipidan, Malaysia, which led to the deaths of several tourists, including Americans. The 2000 kidnapping of the Burnhams, along with the group's previous connections with al Qaeda, were the cassus belli for the U.S. military to re-engage in the Philippines following the September 11, 2001, attacks by al Qaeda.


Subject Categories : Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE