Abu Sayaf: Target of Philippine-U.S. Anti-Terrorism Cooperation
DEFENSE ACQUISITION UNIV FORT BELVOIR VA DAVID D ACKER LIBRARY AND KNOWLEDGE REPOSITORY
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The U.S. announcement that 650 military personnel will be deployed to the southern Philippines signified that the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group is the next target after Afghanistan in the U.S. campaign against terrorism. The U.S. action partly is in response to Philippine President Arroyos strong support of the United States following the September 11 al Qaeda attack on the United States. The United States enters a complex situation in the southern Philippines. A historic Muslim resistance to non-Muslim rulers broke out into massive rebellion in the 1970s. Two large resistance groups, a Moro National Liberation Front MNLF and a Moro Islamic Liberation Front MILF fought the Philippine government into the 1990s and entered into tenuous truces in 1996 and 2001 respectively. Abu Sayyaf emerged in 1990 as a splinter group composed of former MNLF fighters and Filipinos who had fought in Afghanistan. Abu Sayyaf resorted to terrorist tactics, including kidnappings, executions of civilians, and bombings. In 2000 and 2001, Abu Sayyaf raided resorts in Malaysia and the Philippine island of Palawan and kidnapped foreign nationals. It received large ransom payments for releasing the foreign and Filipino hostages but it continues to hold two Americans. Abu Sayyaf had links with Osamu bin Laden s al Qaeda organization in the early 1990s, but Philippine officials have given conflicting assessments of current links. U.S. officials have asserted that there is evidence of existing links.
- Government and Political Science
- Unconventional Warfare