Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) is the most violent of the Islamic separatist groups operating in the southern Philippines and claims to promote an independent Islamic state in western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago. Split from the
Moro National Liberation Front in the early 1990s, the group currently engages in bombings, assassinations, extortion, and kidnappings for ransom, and has ties to Jemaah Islamiya (JI). The ASG operates mainly in Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi provinces in the Sulu Archipelago
and has a presence on Mindanao. Members
The ASG has used terror both for financial
profit and to promote its jihadist agenda.
In April 2000, an ASG faction kidnapped
In July 2007, members of the ASG and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front engaged a force of Philippine marines on Basilan Island, killing 14. In November 2007, a motorcycle bomb exploded outside the Philippine Congress, killing a Congressman and three staff members. While there was no definitive claim of responsibility, three suspected ASG members were arrested during a subsequent raid on a safehouse. In January 2009, the ASG kidnapped three International Red Cross workers in Sulu province, holding one of the hostages for six months. Philippine marines in February 2010 killed Albader Parad, one of the ASG’s most violent sub-commanders, on Jolo Island. In 2011, the ASG kidnapped several individuals, including two Americans, and held them for ransom.
In February 2012, a Philippine military airstrike against a terrorist encampment on Jolo Island killed senior ASG leader Gumbahali Jumdail, also known as Dr. Abu.