Terror Grips Basilan

by Kiko Matsing

Rescued Chinese hostage dies in Philippines (AP):

Oscar Lu died in a Philippine hospital Monday, three days after security forces rescued him and another Chinese plywood factory worker on southern Basilan Island, where Abu Sayyaf militants had been holding them and demanding a ransom for their release, police said…

The two men were abducted by the Abu Sayyaf in November together with a Filipino, who was later beheaded after his family failed to meet a ransom demand.

A day after they were rescued, the militants rampaged through a sleeping Basilan village, killing 12 people, including four children…

The Abu Sayyaf, which is fighting to create an Islamic state in the predominantly Christian nation…

More despicable acts from radical Islam. We want freedom of religion in the Philippines, not an Islamic state under the choke-hold of Sharia law.

Basilan is a beautiful island–home to the peaceful Yakan weavers.

Abu Sayyaf Group dossier (from Council on Foreign Relations):

Abu Sayyaf, whose name means “bearer of the sword” in Arabic, is a militant organization based in the southern Philippines. It seeks a separate Islamic state for the country’s Muslim minority. The U.S. State Department designates Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist organization that boasts of ties to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network, as well as the Indonesian network of Jemaah Islamiyah.

  • A May 2001 incident when Abu Sayyaf kidnapped twenty people, including three Americans, at a Philippine resort and demanded ransom payments. Abu Sayyaf beheaded one of the American captives and held the other two Americans-a Christian missionary couple-hostage on Basilan Island in the southern Philippines. In June 2002, U.S.-trained Philippine commandos tried to rescue the couple and a Filipino nurse being held with them. Two of the hostages were killed in the shoot-out, and one, the American missionary Gracia Burnham, was freed;
  • In August 2002, Abu Sayyaf kidnapped six Filipino Jehovah’s Witnesses and beheaded two of them.
  • In October 2002, Abu Sayyaf was blamed for a bomb explosion near a Philippine military base, killing one U.S. serviceman.
  • In February 2005, Abu Sayyaf claimed responsibility for bombings in Manila and two other cities, killing eight and wounding 150.
  • In November 2007, the group is suspected to have detonated a bomb that killed a Philippine congressman and three of his staffers.
  • A plot to assassinate President Gloria Arroyo was discovered and foiled by Philippine security officials in February 2008.
  • In January 2009, three Red Cross officials were kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf. Two of the three have since been released.

Blot them out, one by one!