From the U.S. Department of State: Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) Description The ASG is the smallest and most radical of the Islamic separatist groups operating in the southern Philippines. Some ASG members have studied or worked in the Middle East and developed ties to mjuahidin while fighting and training in Afghanistan. The group split from the Moro National Liberation Front in 1991 under the leadership of Abdurajik Abubakar Janjalani, who was killed in a clash with Philippine police on 18 December 1998. Press reports place his younger brother, Khadafi Janjalani, as the nominal leader of the group, which is composed of several factions. Activities Engages in bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, and extortion to promote an independent Islamic state in western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, areas in the southern Philippines heavily populated by Muslims. Raided the town of Ipil in Mindanao in April 1995--the group's first large-scale action--and kidnapped more than 30 foreigners, including a US citizen, in 2000. Strength Believed to have about 200 core fighters, but more than 2,000 individuals motivated by the prospect of receiving ransom payments for foreign hostages allegedly joined the group in August. Location/Area of Operation The ASG primarily operates in the southern Philippines with members occasionally traveling to Manila, but the group expanded its operations to Malaysia this year when it abducted foreigners from two different resorts. External Aid Probably receives support from Islamic extremists in the Middle East and South Asia.
The US sends special forces to help Manila track down Abu Sayyaf rebels and the Americans they hold.
A history and profile of the Philippine organization.
Description, activities, strength, area of operation and external aid. From the Federation of American Scientists. USA.
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