Saturday, March 13, 2021

5 more Sayyafs yield in Sulu

SULU- Five Abu Sayyaf terrorists, two of them teenagers, surrendered to the military in Sulu province in southern Philippines after their family and ulama convinced them to abandon their violent campaign and return to the fold of the law.

A military photo shows the 5 Abu Sayyaf terrorists who surrendered in Sulu province on March 12, 2021. 

Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of the 11th Infantry Division, said the terrorists, who surrendered Friday to the municipal government of Maimbung and 41st Infantry Battalion, also yielded a grenade launcher and two rifles.


“Based on their initial debriefing, they were recruited because of the twisted narratives by the Abu Sayyaf,” Gonzales said, adding, of the men claimed to have joined the Abu Sayyaf at a very young age because some of his relatives, who are also members of the terrorist group told him that they are fighting a jihad or holy war.


He said one of those who surrendered told this to military interrogators: “I am part of the group of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Yasser Igasan, who encouraged violence towards non-believers. I was thankful that my wife and in-laws urged me to leave the Abu Sayyaf group. They asked me to attend madrasah, where I finally learned the real essence of being a Muslim. True Islam is really all about peace.”


Those recruited by the Abu Sayyaf had not any formal education and were indoctrinated by the extremist group in fighting the government. This was confirmed by Lt. Col. James Erasmus Gani, commander of the 41st Infantry Battalion, who said: “The Abu Sayyaf is targeting the youth who are still at their formative years and are exploiting their lack of education to indoctrinate them on their false narrative.”


Just early this week, over a dozen Abu Sayyaf fighters also surrendered in Sulu, one of 5 provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.


The terrorists also yielded assorted weapons, mostly old firearms, in Talipao town. Two of those who surrendered were notorious Abu Sayyaf fighters, Almudar Muhajiri and Warsib Hamja, under terrorist leader Radulan Sahiron.


The Abu Sayyaf group, whose leaders pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, was behind numerous deadly bombings in Sulu, Basilan, Zamboanga City and other parts of Mindanao. It is also involved in ransom kidnappings and brutal slayings of their Filipino and foreign hostages over the past decades. (Mindanao Examiner)

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