RP Troops Launch New Offensive In Jolo Island; Sayyaf Produces Own Jihadist Video

August 16, 2007 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A grab from a purported Abu Sayyaf jihadist video obtained by SITE Intelligence Group shows its leader Khadaffy Janjalani and an unidentified militant and training of members. (SITE Intelligence Group)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 16 Aug) – Philippine troops on Thursday launched fresh operation to capture leaders of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group and two Jemaah Islamiya bombers in Jolo island, officials said.

One of two JI bombers, Dulmatin and Abu Sayyaf leader Gumbahali Jumdail were said to have been injured in clashes with troops last week in Jolo, about 950 kilometers south of Manila.

Dulmatin’s companion, Umar Patek, is also on the island and protected by the local terrorists and Moro National Liberation Front insurgents.

“We have reports that Dulmatin is wounded in the clash,” General Hermogenes Esperon, the Philippine military chief, told the Mindanao Examiner by phone from Manila. He did not elaborate.

Last week, Colonel Antonio Supnet, Jolo island army chief, claimed that Jumdail, who calls himself Dr Abu, was also wounded and that two other Abu Sayyaf sub-leaders Marag Asti and Salip Edimar were killed.

General Eugenio Cedo, Western Mindanao Command chief, said troops were pursuing Abu Sayyaf militants and the two Jemaah Islamiya terrorists blamed by Jakarta for the deadly bombings in the resort island of Bali in 2002.

“Our forces are tracking down the terrorists,” Cedo said in a separate interview.

About 5,000 soldiers are on the island after fighting broke out last week in Parang town and spread to two others areas. More than 40 gunmen and 27 soldiers had been killed in the fighting.

Hundreds of U.S. soldiers are also stationed on the island where they maintain a small base and helping Filipino troops defeat terrorism.

But Cedo said the U.S. soldiers were not involved in combat operation. “They are there to assist and advice us and work on humanitarian projects with Filipino troops,” he said.

The U.S. listed the Abu Sayyaf and the Jemaah Islamiya as foreign terrorist organizations and offered as much as $10 million reward for Dulmatin’s capture and $1 million for Patek.

Washington also offered $5 million for the head of Jumdail and other known leaders of the Abu Sayyaf group, blamed by authorities for the spate of bombings and kidnappings of foreigners in the southern Philippines. The group was also implicated in the killing of two kidnapped U.S. citizens in the troubled region.

The Abu Sayyaf is said to have prepared a one-hour and two-minute video titled, “The Filipino Lions are Coming”, featuring speeches from the group’s leadership and footage of its Mujahidin training, according to the website of the SITE Intelligence Group.

The video, similar to previously released by the al-Qaeda and other radical groups in Iraq and Afghanistan, is advertised on jihadist forums as forthcoming and was obtained by SITE Intelligence Group. This is the first time that material from Abu Sayyaf group will be distributed within the jihadist Internet community.

“Two if its former leaders, founder Abdul Raziq Abubakar Janjalani AKA Abu Sayyaf, and Khadaffy Janjalani, each appear in archived footage urging Muslims to contribute support, both financial and material, to the Mujahidin in Abu Sayyaf. The mission of the group is patterned after al-Qaeda and other Salafist movements, seeking the creation of a pan-Islam state, and as stated by Abdul Raziq Janjalani,” SITE said.

“Our only goal is to try to establish an Islamic state. We understand that establishing a Muslim State is not limited to Mindanao… We do not have any choice but to start with Mindanao. If we succeed, we will move to Visayas, then to Besoon, Allah willing, until we reach al-Quds [Jerusalem],” excerpts from the video said.

The presentation provides the background of Abu Sayyaf, both captions and Abdul Raziq Janjalani, setting it as distinct from other movements in the Philippines, namely the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Janjalani explained that despite negative propaganda of the Philippine government, Abu Sayyaf group does not commit militant acts for personal or political gain, but does so only in the name of Islam and jihad.

“To this end, he tells of the conditions in which the Mujahidin live, lacking ammunition, armaments, and medicine, and moreover, unable to record such messages and deliver them on account of the Philippine government.”

“A message from the producers of the video at its conclusion reiterates the call for financial support, but also urges prayers, and spreading the material of Abu Sayyaf group and inciting for their cause within the jihadist community and elsewhere,” SITE said.

Photographs of Abubakar and Khadaffy Janjalani and Abu Sayyaf members training in what appeared a jungle location were also posted on the SITE Intelligence website and can be accessed on this URL:

It was unknown when the video was taken, but Abubakar Janjalani was killed in a firefight with policemen in Basilan island in 1998, while Khadaffy Janjalani died last year in a clash with U.S.-backed Filipino soldiers in Jolo island.

Both their bodies had been recovered and identified by U.S. and Philippine forensic experts. (Mindanao Examiner)


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