Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Bloody Trail of Abu Sayyaf, Al Qaeda’s Agent in East Asia,

March 3, 2006, Suburban Emergency Management Project, Biot #336:, The Bloody Trail of Abu Sayyaf, Al Qaeda’s Agent in East Asia,

The notorious Abu Sayyaf group, which is comprised of perhaps 500 well-armed "Tausug" tribal fighters, sows terror in the southern Philippines by kidnapping Christian school children, teachers, and principals, as well as international tourists and missionaries--holding them hostage for weeks and months until ransom is paid. The ransom money purchases increasingly Abu Sayyaf means of living and powerful arms, communications equipment, and training on how to use the technology provided by operatives of Al Qaeda, the international terrorist network of which Abu Sayyaf is the Filipino arm. The ultimate goal of these activities, according to one Abu Sayyaf member, is to first "take back" the Philippines (more below) and then take over the world. Said he: "When all of the Philippines belong[s] to us, we'[ll] move on to Thailand and other countries where there is such oppression. You see, Islam is for the whole world." (1)


Three Recent Large Abu Sayyaf Attacks

There have been three large and savage attacks perpetrated by Abu Sayyaf since 2000. In each case, the terrorists escaped.

The first attack occurred on March 20, 2000 when Abu Sayyaf startled the predominantly-Christian town of Tumahubong on the remote southern side of Basilan Island, facing the island province of Sulu, by kidnapping 50 mostly Christian students, teachers, principals and priests from two schools (Muslim students were let go). The terrorists were apparently angry because the teachers had not paid their monthly "donations" to Abu Sayyaf. While waiting for ransom monies to arrive, Abu Sayyaf members made good on their promise to behead several male teachers and rape at least one woman. Said one of the bandits: "I cut off their penises also, that way they cannot enter paradise anyway." (2)

The terrorists "hated Christianity and there were many attempts to convert the teachers and the children to Islam but it had no effect," noted one observer. Indeed, why would the Tausugs kidnap teachers and students from a remote village where everyone is poor? The only reason was the "urge for publicity"—to let the world know that "suddenly Abu Sayyaf was a name to reckon with." (3) And they succeeded very well in arousing global media. The two leaders of this hostage taking were Abu Sabaya and Khaddafy Janjalani. Abu Sabaya told the teacher-hostages: "You stole this island from us. Your schools have corrupted our children. Look at the way our women dress. You brought distorted values here!" (4)


A second Abu Sayyaf attack occurred on April 23, 2000 at the famous divers' resort called Sipadan, located a few miles offshore from the northeastern tip of Borneo. Sipadan today is not even part of the Philippines; rather it belongs to the Malaysian State of Sabah. However, in the past, Sabah belonged to the Sulu Sultanate, a fact known by Galib Andang, a.k.a. Commander Robot, the 33-year-old Tausug from Jolo Island who ran this particular hostage operation. He regaled the 23 kidnapped hotel guests with the usual Wahhabi vitriol about Western alcohol, sex, materialism AIDS, greed, and infidelity, which the Muslim terrorists did not want on "their islands". Exquisitely skilled in rallying the media, Robot successfully upgraded himself and his group from the status of a local to an international-level Islamic Movement. (5) This bravado means much to the Tausags.

A third Abu Sayyaf kidnapping occurred on May 28, 2001 at Dos Palmas (Two Palms) Island Resort at Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan Island, Philippines. Approximately 20 male and female hostages were abducted and marched around the jungles of Basilan, some of them for over a year. One man was brutally beheaded when Abu Sayyaf terrorists perceived that ransoms weren't being paid in a timely manner. Several women were taken as wives by their captors and one even became pregnant by Khaddafy Janjalani, which allowed her to leave the group and get medical treatment, much to her relief. The leaders of this kidnapping were Abu Sabaya and Khaddafy Janjalani. Evidently they had rested up sufficiently from the March 20, 2003 abduction of the school children to take on another operation. Bills must be paid.

Relationship between Abu Sayyaf and the Tausug Tribe

The Abu Sayyaf group is comprised of warriors from the Tausug tribe, an ethnic group of about 400,000 people (1998 census) who live mostly on the island of Jolo in the Sulu Archipelago (a component of the larger Philippines Archipelago). The Sulu Archipelago is a group of volcanic islands that march across the Sulu Sea from the island of Mindanao to the island of Basilan to the island of Jolo, and many more small islands extending to the northeast tip of the island of Borneo. Some Tausugs live on the island of Basilan along with the Yakan tribe.

Who Are the Tausugs?

The Tausugs are an indigenous tribe originally known as the "people of the current". They were the first tribe in the Sulu Archipelago to convert to Islam through the advances of an Arab-taught Muslim scholar named Mukdum, who arrived to Sulu in 1380 A.D. Rajah Baginda followed him in 1390 A.D. and founded the first Muslim Sultanate in Jolo, appointing himself as Sultan.


The Sulu Sultanate was the first working government in the Philippine Archipelago and was, by any definition of international law, a sovereign state, according to one historian. (6) Indeed, the Sulu Sultanate had an administrative hierarchy, a set of laws, an armed ground force and a naval fleet, fiscal management and taxation, and foreign trade and diplomatic relations, according to Barreveld. (6)

By 1475 A.D., Sharif Muhammad Kabungsuwan established his rule on the central portion of the island of Mindanao. Three generations after him, Sultan Dipatuan Qudrat (also spelled: Kudarat) (tenure: 1623-1671), the great-grandson of Kabungsuwan, ruled the entire region. (7) Sultan Kudarat experienced defeats by the Spaniards and rival Muslim Sultans, but he eventually triumphed over Spanish colonialism in the south by uniting virtually all of the peoples of the southern Philippines, including the Tausug tribe.

For centuries, the multi-tribal Sulu Sultanate was respected throughout the Orient and was frequented by foreign dignitaries. At the height of its power in the early part of the 1700s, its territory encompassed the whole Zamboanga peninsula of the island of Mindanao, the island of Basilan, the Sulu Archipelago, and the islands of Tawi-Tawi, Palawan, and Sabah (Sabah today is part of Malaysia, but the Tausugs don't buy that notion; please see above). During the same period, the Sultanate began to intensify its foreign relations with neighboring Muslim principalities, which included Brunei, Makassar, Manila, Cebu (before the Spanish era), Maguindanao, Buayan and Batavia. The foreign relations of the Sulu Sultanate involved trade, mutual friendship and military alliances. The Sultanate had in fact dispatched ambassadors to different places and also received ambassadors from other countries.

The Spaniards Arrive to Colonize the Philippines

Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), a Portuguese navigator working for the Spanish crown, arrived to the Philippines in 1521 A.D., claiming the archipelago for Spain. He was killed by local Muslim chiefs on the then-Muslim island of Cebu. In 1543 A.D., Ruy Lopez de Villalobos named the territory Filipinas after Philip II of Spain.

Permanent Spanish occupation began in 1565 A.D. when Spanish conquistadors with Miguel Lopez de Legaspi in command reached the archipelago. They soon came into conflict with the Muslims living on the islands. "After suffering eight centuries under Muslim rule" in Spain, which the Spanish had finally ended in 1492 A.D., Legaspi, et al, "had no love for the Moros [Moors]. They had not expected to find Muslims in the Philippines." (8) In fact, when Legaspi arrived to the Philippines in 1565, Islam had spread northward to the area that is now Manila on the northernmost island of Luzon.

King Philip II decided to punish the Moros by condemning them to slavery if caught waging war against his conquistadors. He issued a Royal Decree on July 4, 1570, whose text is as follows:

"In Mindanao and adjacent islands in the Philippines there are natives who have adopted the religion of Mahoma (Muhammad) and have allied themselves with the enemies of the Spanish Crown. As rebels, they have inflicted many harms to our vassals. To punish them, I deem it as an efficacious remedy to declare those who should be captured in war to be condemned to slavery.

"We command that such be done. But this distinction must be observed: that if the Mindanao natives be simply heathens, they shall not be made slaves…if they are Moros by nation and birth and propagate the teachings of Islam or make war on the Spaniards and Christian natives, or oppose our sovereignty, then in that case they could be made slaves. But those who are Indians who have become Moros shall not be made slaves. They must be persuaded by lawful and kind methods so that they may accept our Catholic faith." (8)

On May 16, 1571, Legaspi arrived to Manila, which he had made his new capital, and took possession of the Muslim kingdom. The Muslim sultans in the area did not resist and made peace with the Spanish conquistador. The Spanish were able to take possession of most of the islands of the archipelago with the exception of the southernmost islands, especially the large island of Mindanao, and the smaller nearby islands of Basilan and Jolo, where Islam was well entrenched and defended by fierce Tausug warriors.

The conflict between the Spanish and the Moros continued. The Moros led by Sultan Dipatuan Qudrat (see above) raided Spanish settlements in search of slaves and booty. The slaves they sold by the tens of thousands in the slave markets of Southeast Asia, according to Barreveld (p. 69). The Spanish were so terrorized by these raids that they built a series of watch-towers and forts along most of the islands in the central island cluster of the Philippines Archipelago called the Visayas. These towers can still be viewed today. "…The seeming ability [of the Moros] to raid anywhere at will without the Spaniards being able to prevent them struck terror throughout the Visayan islands", according to Jesuits residing in the area. (9)

However, when the Spanish won a battle against the Moros, "huge plundering took place, women were raped, and hundreds of Tausugs were turned into slaves and paraded in the streets of Manila." Mosques were desecrated with the help of Catholic clergy who "always participated in this kind of raids and sometimes even commanded them", and Islamic books were burned, according to eyewitness accounts about the behavior of Spanish soldiers. (10) These raids effectively checked the spread of Islam. The Moros, however, held on in the southern islands of the Philippines, where they reside today, mostly on Jolo and Basilan.

The Founding of Abu Sayyaf by Janjalani

Against this background of deadly conflict between the Muslims and Christians in the Philippines arose the Abu Sayyaf group. It was the brainchild of Abdurazzak Abubakar Janjalani, a Tausug warrior born on November 8, 1963 on the island of Basilan. Remarkably, his father was a Muslim and his mother was a Christian! (11) He even enrolled for a time in Claret College, run by Claretian priests, but left in 1981 at age 18 years after receiving a scholarship from the Saudi Arabian government to study Islamic jurisprudence in Ummu I-Qura in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. There he was exposed to Sunni Muslim Wahhabism, which has been described elsewhere (see “Who Is a Wahhabi” at:; accessed March 6, 2006).

(bin Laden's brother-in-law)

After three years in Saudi Arabia, Abdurazzak Janjalani returned to Basilan Island to teach and preach in mosques in a small village called Tabuk. Soon women were wearing black and men black or gray. There were no longer any of the bright colors for which Filipino culture is known. Janjalani also began experimenting with another extreme conservative Muslim movement known as "Tabligh Jamaat". Founded in rural India 75 years ago, Tabligh Jamaat is one of the most widespread and conservative Islamic movements in the world. It describes itself as a nonpolitical, and nonviolent, group interested only in proselytizing and bringing wayward Muslims back to Islam. Members of Tabligh accomplish their mission of propagating the faith by visiting mosques and college campuses in small missionary bands, preaching a return to purist Islamic values, and recruiting other Muslim men--often young men searching for identity--to join them for a few days or weeks on the road. American Muslim John Walker Lindh was originally recruited by a Tablighi.

About 20,000 Tabligh members, including Abdurazzak Janjalani, resided in Basilan. Professor Amilhussin Jumaani, a member of the board of regents of a university in southern Mindanao declared the Tabligh were harmless, yet he was also tagged as a founder of Abu Sayyaf! (12)

Janjalani in 1987 went to Libya to continue his studies in Islam. In Tripoli he met a number of other Filipino students who were receiving military training for the Moro National Liberation Front, which was working for an independent Muslim state. In Libya, Janjalani developed a reputation as an agitator against MNLF because he believed the organization was betraying the Muslim cause in the Philippines by making deals with Philippine President Corazon Aquino to obtain independence within the framework of Philippine secular law rather than Islamic law.

Sometime in 1987, Janjalani went to Pakistan to join Muslim fighters for the holy war in Afghanistan against the Soviets. "It is not known who convinced the young Tausug preacher to do this. Most probably he was convinced to join by agents from some of the organizers of the Muslim volunteer movements for assisting Afghanistan, such as, for instance, Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK), an organization created and run by Osama bin Laden. These movements were quite massive…amassing within a few years some 35,000 Muslim militants from at least 40 different counties", including the Philippines, to take part in the Afghan jihad. (13)

Young 22-year-old Abdurazzak Janjalani arrived in Peshawar, Pakistan, and joined the 7th Afghan guerilla group, named the Abu Sayyaf, which Afghan Professor Abdul Rasul Abu Sayyaf ran. It was apparently one of the last of the foreign guerilla bands to be formed, according to Barreveld, in 1986 (p. 119) No one knows for sure, but estimates have been placed at 200 for the total number of Filipino fighters in Afghanistan, which included Abdurazza's little brothers named Khaddafy and Hector, and his friend Aldam Tilao who later changed his name to Abu Sabaya (see top of article for his atrocities with the hostages)!

When the Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989, the 35,000 guerilla fighters for the most part went home, and the Janjalani boys were no different. But when they reached home, they were pumped up and disenchanted with the MNLF's deals with the legitimate government of the Philippines. So Janjalani founded in 1990 his group called Al Harakatul al Islamiya (Islamic Movement) and then went on to further specify his group as Abu Sayyaf (which means “Father of the Sword”) after his professor in Peshawar! What was the group's goal? The goal was the creation of a pure Muslim state based on the Koran, NOT within the framework of the Philippine State. And there was only one way to accomplish this, as far as Janjalani was concerned: holy jihad.

Janjalani Receives Needed Cash from Al Qaeda Money-Man Muhammad Khalifa

Janjalani most likely met Muhammad Jamal Khalifa--a tall and slender Saudi national and former Afghan fighter--in Peshawar in 1991. Khalifa is the husband of one of Osama bin Laden's older sisters! American investigators allege that bin Laden dispatched Khalifa to the Philippines in 1988 to recruit fighters for the Afghan war. Khalifa apparently ran the local MAK (Maktab al-Khidamat) recruitment in the Philippines (recall that MAK headquarters was in Peshawar, Pakistan), using a rattan furniture business as a cover. He was deeply involved in establishing various Islamic organizations and charities, as well as the Imam Shafie Institute in Patkul, Jolo Island, which is in the heart of Abu Sayyaf territory. Khalifa also married at least two Filipino girls and recruited dozens of Filipino Muslims for the Afghan war, mainly from the southern provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, among others. (14) The recruiting process ended in 1989 with the conclusion of the war.

(The photo above is a rare survivor from an earlier version of Yousef's Wikipedia entry. It has been replaced with the image below on the current page. "No higher resolution" we are told!)

Khalifa Brings Ramzi Yousef to the Philippines to Help Abu Sayyaf

At this point, Khalifa remained a frequent visitor to the southern Philippines. In fact, in 1990 he actually stayed in Tabuk, Basilan in the house of Abdurazzak Janjalani or one of his relatives. In summer 1991, Pakistani and Filipino investigators believe that Khalifa was in Peshawar, Pakistan where, under instructions from bin Laden, he offered Janjalani money to develop Abu Sayyaf, and then persuaded two Al Qaeda commanders to visit the Philippines to train Janjalani’s Tausug fighters. One of the bomb-making trainers--Ramzi Yousef--introduced himself to at least one Filipino local (Edwin Angeles) in summer 1991 as "an emissary of Osama Bin Laden" and began a close relationship that lasted throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. (15)

In 1992, the Abu Sayyaf had built a camp in the mountains not far from the City of Isabela on Basilan Island. Locals said that the camp was being used for military training. Khalifa, bin Laden’s brother-in-law, visited the camp at least three times in 1992. Finally, in 1992, a million dollars was transferred from Khalifa's agent, named Abdul Asmad, in conjunction with Ramzi Yousef, to Abu Sayyaf to help strengthen its military capability, i.e., purchase arms. Khalifa did not return to the Philippines again after Asmad was killed by police and marines in 1994.

Ramzi Yousef Tries to Blow Up the World Trade Center

On February 23, 1993, Ramzi Yousef was busy moving a huge bomb into position to blow up New York’s World Trade Center. He departed the US to Pakistan where he used his time to strengthen his ties with the bin Laden organization. In mid-1994 associates of bin Laden asked him to travel to the Philippines to help Abu Sayyaf. Some observers believe he was sent to replace Khalifa and Asmad. Yousef made his way back to the Philippines where he proceeded directly to Basilan Island and Abu Sayyaf headquarters in the mountains. In September 1994, Yousef resurfaced in Manila, on the island of Luzon, and returned to Pakistan to tell bin Laden about his brilliant plan: simultaneously blowing up passenger airliners with bombs!

Ramzi Yousef’s Simultaneous Airliner Blow-Up Plan: the Bojinka Plot

Yousef quickly returned to Manila to build a small bomb made with nitroglycerine, a tiny contact lens case, a Casio digital watch, and two nine-volt batteries. He learned that by hiding the batteries in the heels of his shoes he was able to pass all security checks in airports. He tested the bomb in a shopping mall on Cebu Island, and then considered using it to kill President Bill Clinton during a visit to Manila scheduled for 1995. In doing this, Yousef believed that he could ensure his status as the pre-eminent world terrorist for decades to come. He called off the plan because security was too tight around the President and instead turned his attention to his plan to blow up simultaneously a number of jumbo jets over the Pacific Ocean. He called his project "The Bojinka Plot". "Bojinka" in Serbo-Croatian means “explosion”. He tested his bomb on December 11, 1994, by placing it under a seat (26K) of Philippines Airlines Flight #434, which had one more leg after he deplaned.

The bomb went off as planned at 30,000 feet, instantaneously killing 24-year-old Haruki Ikegami, a Japanese national occupying the seat. The plane's Captain Ed Reyes and his crew were able to make a safe emergency landing of the Boeing 747. None of the aircraft's other 272 passengers or 20 crew members died, although 10 passengers sitting in front of Ikegami were injured. After the bombing, according to one source, a man claiming to represent a rebel group said in a telephone call to the Manila office of the Associated Press: "We are Abu Sayyaf Group. We explode one plane from Cebu." (16) Yousef was frustrated that the plane had not crashed, just as the World Trade Centers had not crashed.

Early in January 1995, Yousef was again in Manila where he was preparing for Bojinka. While working with the explosive chemicals required to make the bombs, a small fire started in his apartment. He could not extinguish it and fled with his partner named Murad. The building caretaker called the Manila Fire Department. Suddenly, Yousef realized he had left behind his laptop computer, with all the plans and details of Bojinka. He sent Murad back to get it, and Murad was promptly arrested.

Ramzi Yousef Is Arrested and Imprisoned for Life

“The Philippine police could hardly believe their eyes,” writes Barreveld. “Under the project name Bojinka they found the plan to blow up simultaneously 11 US airliners over the Pacific. If successfully executed it would have sacrificed the lives of some 4,000 passengers and crew. It was an astonishing plot. The plan was scheduled for January 21, 1995.” (17) Meanwhile, Yousef managed to leave the country and go into hiding in Pakistan. On February 7, 1995, the FBI arrested him in Pakistan. He was flown to the US where he was convicted for bombing the World Trade Center in 1993. He received a sentence of life imprisonment in a maximum security prison in Colorado where he is today.

Abu Sayyaf’s other Early Activities

Abu Sayyaf’s first major terrorist attack was about the same time the group allegedly received the million dollars from bin Laden--in 1992. Members launched a grenade attack in Davao City on Mindanao Island, killing two foreign women. In 1993, they hurled a bomb at a wharf in Zamboanga City on Mindanao Island, injuring several people, and launched similar bombing attacks at the Zamboanga Airport in Roman Catholic churches, including the cathedral of Davao City in which seven people were killed.

They practiced their abductions with kidnapping in 1992 a Davao-based businesswoman who was held hostage in Abdurazzak Janjalani's house in Tabuk, Isabela. After a ransom was received, Janjalani let her go unharmed. In April 1993, the group captured five-year old Ton-Ton Biel, his 73-year-old grandfather, and a Claretian priest. When they received the expected ransoms, the hostages were eventually released. Then on November 14, 1993, they kidnapped an American missionary named Charles M. Watson who was ransomed and released on December 7, 1993. In 1994, the group kidnapped three Spanish nuns and a Spanish priest who were ransomed and released. On June 8, 1994, Abu Sayyaf took hostage a group of 70 school children and teachers who were ransomed and released. On December 11, 1994, Abu Sayyaf claimed responsibility for the bomb explosion on Philippine Airlines Flight #434 already described above. In 1995, Abu Sayyaf was linked with a plot to kill Pope John Paul II during his visit to the Philippines, but the plot was discovered and aborted.

Ipil is a town about 60 miles north of Zamboanga City on Mindanao Island. At the break of dawn on April 4, 1995, 200 heavily-armed members of Abu Sayyak gunned down 53 people, robbed banks, plundered stores, took 30 hostages as human shields, and then burned the town to the ground. A final conclusion about the Ipil raid was never published.

The Death of Abdurazzak Janjalani

In the aftermath of Ipil, there was a lull in Abu Sayyaf’s criminal activities. Apparently the group had made enough money from robbing the banks. On September 9, 1997, however, the group started up again by kidnapping a German executive who was ransomed on December 26, 1997. Then the police located and killed 35-year-old Abdurazzak Janjalani on December 18, 1998. On January 3, 1999, to avenge Janjalani’s death, the Abu Sayyak lobbed a grenade into a crowd that had gathered to watch firefighters put out a blaze in a neighborhood supermarket in Jolo, killing 10 people and injuring 74 more. Abdurazzak's youngest brother Khaddafy Janjalani emerged as the new head of Abu Sayyaf, with Abu Sabaya second in command. And this brings us to the attack of March 20, 2000 when Abu Sayyaf kidnapped Christian students in Tumahubong, described earlier. A listing of additional “smaller” Abu Sayyaf attacks between 2000 and 2002 is available at: Abu Sabaya was killed in 2002 while trying to evade forces. Commander Robot was captured in Sulu in December 2003. Khaddafy Janjalani remains at large.


Abu Sayyaf is currently in its death throes, or so it seems. Founded by Abdurazzak Janjalani, the oldest of four sons of a Muslim father and a Christian mother on the island of Basilan in the southern Philippines, Abu Sayyaf was the embodiment of Janjalani’s grandiose idea of using Tausug force to retake the Philippines. He developed this idea during a heady experience in Afghanistan alongside the likes of Osama bin Laden, who later anointed Abu Sayyaf as the East Asian arm of Al Qaeda. The death of the pious zealot Abdurazzak in 1998 left the group under the unsure leadership of his youngest brother Khaddafy, who had also fought in the holy war in Afghanistan. Khaddafy does not possess the intellect or vision of his older brother, and has led the organization toward criminal activities unrelated to “retaking the Philippines”, including banditry, piracy, and indiscriminate murder. He is currently at large, eluding capture by the authorities.


1. Gracia Burnham: “In the Presence of My Enemies.” Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Wheaton, IL, 2003, p. 170.

2. Drs. Dirk J. Barreveld: “Terrorism in the Philippines.” Writers Club Press. 2001, p. 147.

3. Ibid, p. 150.

4. Ibid, p. 143.

5. Ibid, p. 159.

6. Ibid, p. 68.

7. “Islam and the Sultanate of Malacca 1402-1511”. Available at:; accessed March 6, 2006.

8. Drs. Dirk J. Barreveld: “Terrorism in the Philippines.” Writers Club Press. 2001, pp. 65-66.

9. Horacio de la Costa: “The Jesuits in the Philippines 1581-1768”, 1967, p. 282.

10. Drs. Dirk J. Barreveld: “Terrorism in the Philippines.” Writers Club Press. 2001, p. 71.

11. Ibid, p. 113.

12. Ibid, p. 115.

13. Ibid, p. 116.

14. Ibid, p. 219.

15. Ibid, p. 220.

16. Wikipedia: “Philippine Airlines Flight 434” at:; accessed March 6, 2006.

17. Drs. Dirk J. Barreveld: “Terrorism in the Philippines.” Writers Club Press. 2001, p. 226.

page 115: "Professor Amilhussin Jumaani, member of the board of regents of the Western Mindanao State University in Zamboanga City...Jumaani was tagged as one of the three original founders of the Abu Sayyaf."

page 121: "The Abu Sayyaf's first set of officers...Abdul Asmad, intelligence chief...half-Tausug Edwin Angeles, a Muslim convert using the name Ibrahim Yakub, who acted as operations chief, Juvenal Bruno, a Muslim convert from Cagayan de Oro, he eventually succeeded Angeles when he left the group in 1995. Wahab Muhammad Akbar left the group...In 1998 he ran for governor of the province of Basilan and won.

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