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Abu Sayyaf now facing the people's vengeance

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The Abu Sayyaf continued to spread terror in the island province of Basilan with their usual disregard for human lives and no matter who gets killed or maimed.

As usual they killed innocent civilians in the process of spreading terror and carry out their bizarre strategy of announcing to the patrons of terrorism that they are still existing and capable of waging mass murder.

While there were soldiers and civilians killed, the Abu Sayyaf terror group and their cohorts suffered several casualties. Nothing will stop the remnants of these elements from staging yet another strike on civilian communities. However, the civilian communities themselves can help end the atrocities if they help government forces locate and strike at their hideouts.

Basilan, despite the violence sown by terrorists, is still a well-developed province. Muslims and Christians learned to live and co-exist with each other and not a few inter-marriages happened because of this union. However, radical and extremist elements, which we know now were trained by Al Qaeda, have managed to wiggle themselves in this unique inter-faith cohesiveness and started sowing the seeds of divisiveness.  Aided by the so-called lost command of the secessionist fronts they somehow gained foothold. The fronts promised such nebulous prospect of an independent Moro land.  While many were lured majority wanted none of it. For one, the government will not allow the country to be dismembered.

Abu Sayyaf and other terrorist clones of Al Qaeda, like the notorious Jemaah Islamiyah, only succeeded to gain foothold because they were provided sanctuary by members of the fronts who were just happy to have additional allies who mastered the art of fabricating improvised explosive devices that they considered important weapon of mass destruction. Indeed they used this weapon to commit mass slaughter in the hope that with terror they can control communities.

The Muslim communities slowly realized that there will be no future at all for the future generations if they continue to harbour the likes of Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah. In fact, they have become victims of the very elements they had offered shelters and feed even when food was scarce.

We understand how difficult it is to free themselves from these savages and the terror that they inflict on Muslims and Christians alike.  But in Basilan which was once a terrorist haven, the people have learned to cope and many members of the terror groups have lost their lives because the civilian communities have started denying them sanctuaries. The Abu Sayyaf elements are on their own. They still manage to abduct businessmen for ransom. Their funds are low and dry for many of their sources of funding have been identified by the international intelligence apparatus. They are now forced to carryout their own initiative if at all they wish to continue to exist. The more they victimize and exact death tolls on the civilian communities the more they will likely be exterminated.

By MW




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