Abu Sayyaf rebels officially vow allegiance to ISIS

Members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) hoist black flags and shout after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

Members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) hoist black flags and shout after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

THE Abu Sayyaf Group had “officially” pledged allegiance to the caliph of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and named new leaders aligned with the international Islamic extremist group, according to a video released by the ASG.

The video, which was uploaded at Archived.org website on January 4, showed more than 30 armed militants led by Isnilon Hapilon hiking in the hinterlands of Basilan province while chanting the “Dawlah Islamiyah [Islamic State]” after which they recited an Arabic script of  bayah or pledge of allegiance.

Hapilon alias Abu Abdullah was named as the new leader of the “Harakatul Islamiyah”[Islamic Movement]” the new name given to the ASG, which is known for having carried out kidnappings, bombings and other criminal activities in Mindanao in the past.
The US government offered a  $5 million reward for Hapilon’s head.

Hapilon was shown in the video with Abu Harith Al-Filibbieni , an alleged deputy commander of the al-Ansar Infantry Division of the ISIS, and Mohd Najib Husen alias Abu Annas Al Muhajir, an alleged division head of the Ansar al-Sharia of the ISIS.

The rebels explained in the video that they had previously done the bayah but were doing it again “officially” in front of their named leaders.

It was unknown when the video was created but it was released after the Army’s Western Mindanao Command claimed last month that Husen was killed during operations in Basilan against the ASG bandits.

Husen was with other Malaysian foreigners namely Mahmud Ahmad, Muhammad Joraimee Awang Raimee, Amin Baco and Jeknal Adil, who fled to southern Philippines reportedly to recruit militants and send them to “Dar al-Harb [place of war],” referring to Syria and Iraq, where the ISIS had established its own caliphate state.

The ASG hoisted a black flag similar to those being used by the Khilafah Islamiyah Movement (KIM) and other hardline radical jihadist groups like the Boko Haram in Africa.
In Maguindanao and nearby provinces, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Ansarul Khilafah had also pledged allegiance to the ISIS “officially.”

Radical militants in Indonesia and Malaysia including the Southeast Asian terror group Jema’ah Islamiyah had also done the same.


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  1. Australia in denial on

    The Australian media is running with this story. However, the Attorney-General and Prime Minister won’t declare the Warren Rodwell kidnapping / ransom demand to fund future operations, as an act of terrorism. Isn’t Rodwell young enough, pretty enough or famous enough to be treated equally as an Australian citizen?


    The group controls only about 500 men. Their specialty is kidnapping. They are known for nabbing Westerners who venture into the southern Philippines, where various Islamic insurgents have struggled for autonomy since the 1960s.
    This gang’s oath to the Islamic State, and to obey its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, appears to be mostly theater.

    “They’re just criminals attaching themselves to a well-known name,” says Warren Rodwell, a former soldier for Australia’s military who spent much of his life teaching English in Asia. “It’s theatrical.”

    Rodwell became intimate with Abu Sayyaf the hard way. In December 2011 he was kidnapped by the group from his home in the southwest Philippines, held in their jungle camps for 15 grueling months and freed when his family handed over roughly $100,000.

    Most of the militants, he says, are just poor villagers whose concept of jihadi warfare comes from bad Hollywood movies, not indoctrination from the Middle East.
    They are also lacking the extreme piety professed by Islamic State troops. “The only time they became observant, praying multiple times a day, was when their cell phones ran out of charge,” he says. “Or maybe if our camp was too remote to send text messages to their girlfriends.”

    “Most of these guys didn’t even go into formal marriages with Muslim women,” Rodwell says. “What they wanted to do was run around with Christian girls who they saw as dirtier.”

  3. What i see is a bunch of kids playing soldier, not saying they aren’t dangerous, giving children automatic weapons is never a good idea.
    Couple of kids around 12 years old in the front bunch of teenagers make up the majority of this group.
    Only 6 of them had the common sense to cover their faces including the 2, the rest declaring themselves terrorists and proudly posing for their wanted posters.

    Seriously the Army can’t find this group of kids ?

  4. Abu Sayyaf is in financial turmoil. Kidnapping business is no longer lucrative and AFP is stepping up their campaign to capture all of them. ASG thinks that linking with ISIS is the answer to monetary support.

  5. Concerned Christian on

    Christians in Mindanao should arm themselves and guard their daughters very closely. Christian girls could soon be targeted for abduction to be traded as sex slaves by IS in Mindanao.