26 Facts About Abu Sayyaf


Abu Sayyaf primarily operates in the southern Philippines with members traveling to Manila and other provinces.

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Abu Sayyaf is one of the smallest, but strongest of the Philippine Islamist separatist groups.

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Some Abu Sayyaf members studied or worked in Saudi Arabia and developed ties to mujahadeen, while fighting and training in the war against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

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Abu Sayyaf proclaimed themselves to be mujahideen and freedom fighters.

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Abu Sayyaf then worked to consolidate his leadership, causing the group to appear inactive for a period.

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Abu Sayyaf expanded its operations to Malaysia in 2000, when it abducted foreigners from two resorts.

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An influential commander named Abu Sayyaf Sabaya was killed at sea in June 2002 while trying to evade local forces.

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Abu Sayyaf's death is considered a crucial turning point for the group, as the number of operatives working for Abu Sayyaf sharply decreased from 1100 in 2001 to 450 in late 2002, and had since been stagnant for the next ten years.

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Observers were skeptical about whether the pledge would lead to Abu Sayyaf becoming an ISIS outpost in Southeast Asia, or was simply a way for the group to take advantage of the newer group's international publicity.

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Chart below collects events that Abu Sayyaf received ransoms or payments that are euphemistically called "board and lodgings".

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Filipino Islamist guerrillas such as Abu Sayyaf have been described as "rooted in a distinct class made up of closely-knit networks built through the marriage of important families through socioeconomic backgrounds and family structures", according to Michael Buehler.

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In 2000, Abu Sayyaf captured an American Muslim and demanded that the United States release Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and Ramzi Yousef, who were jailed for their involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York City.

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Abu Sayyaf has carried out numerous bombings, kidnappings, assassinations, and extortion activities.

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ABS-CBN's Newsbreak reported that Abu Sayyaf abducted at least 20 journalists from 2000 to 2008 .

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Abu Sayyaf was linked to the kidnappings of Rodwell in 2011, Irish missionary Michael Sinnott in 2009 in Pagadian City, and Italian Catholic priest Giancarlo Bossi in Zamboanga del Sur's Payao town in 2007.

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Abu Sayyaf's was flown to Davao to meet President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

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Abu Sayyaf made various demands for the release of several prisoners, including 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and $2.

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Abu Sayyaf coordinated with the Chinese 14K Triad gang in carrying out the kidnappings.

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The initial agreement of 30 million pesos was reportedly for both hostages; however, a faction within the Abu Sayyaf Group demanded more after Thien Nyuk Fun was released.

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Shortly before the bombing, Abu Sayyaf made a threat following the intensified military operation against them.

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Abu Sayyaf later denied the report and any involvement, saying a group allied to them; the Daulat Ul-Islamiya were responsible.

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Abu Sayyaf stated that it is shameful to commit such acts in the name of the Islamic faith, saying that such acts produce backlash against Islam and Muslims.

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Abu Sayyaf was then deported by the Philippine government to face legal action in the United States.

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The Vietnamese military started to hold military exercises against Abu Sayyaf following the repeat kidnappings of Malaysian and Indonesian sailors.

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Notable Abu Sayyaf leaders were killed, including Nelson Muktadil, Braun Muktadil, their sub-leader Mohammad Said, Jamiri Jawhari, Musanna Jamiri, the group spokesman Abu Rami and Alhabsy Misaya.

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Abu Sayyaf's statements were criticized by national media as leading to confusion about whether he wanted peace talks.

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