Accession Number:

ADA463896

Title:

Abu Sayyaf: Target of Philippine-U.S. Anti-Terrorism Cooperation

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2007-01-24

Pagination or Media Count:

20.0

Abstract:

From January 2002 until July 31, 2002, the United States committed nearly 1,300 troops to the Philippines and 93 million in military aid to assist Philippine armed forces AFP in operations against the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in the southern Philippines, on the island of Basilan southwest of Mindanao. The U.S. action, dubbed Operation Balikatan, partly was in response to Philippine President Arroyos strong support of the United States following the September 11 Al Qaeda attack on the United States. 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 executions of civilians, bombings, and increasingly kidnapings for ransom. Abu Sayyaf had links with Osamu bin Laden s Al Qaeda organization in the early 1990s, but these links reportedly dwindled in the late 1990s. After the 2002 Balikatan operation, the remaining Abu Sayyaf leadership established links with Jeemah Islamiah JI, an Al Qaeda-affiliated group in Southeast Asia that had begun to use Mindanao for training and organizing terrorist strikes. Abu Sayyaf also established links with Rajah Solaiman, a radical Muslim group made up of Filipinos from the northern Philippines who had converted to Islam. Together, these groups carried out major bombings after 2003, including bombings in metropolitan Manila.

Subject Categories:

  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE