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NCJ Number: 222242 Find in a Library
Title: Alliance System of the Abu Sayyaf, 1993-2000
Journal: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism  Volume:31  Issue:2  Dated:February 2008  Pages:125-144
Author(s): Eduardo F. Ugarte
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 20
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English; Spanish
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explores the fundamental cultural rules or principles by which Abu Sayyaf factions are structured on the Philippine islands of Jolo and Basilan.
Abstract: Evidence indicates that from soon after its emergence to 2000, the Abu Sayyaf consisted of an alliance system of the sort traditionally found on Jolo and in other Muslim territories. Whatever the original plans for the group’s structure, it appears that in time the Abu Sayyaf came to be made up of minimal alliance groups, which were distinguished by their dyadic friendship and kinship ties and their leader- and situation-centeredness. Several implications are associated with the probability that the Abu Sayyaf on the Island of Jolo consisted of an alliance system from 1993 to 2000: (1) the likelihood it continues as an alliance today because of its long history and objective conditions making it unlikely to change markedly in a brief period; (2) the suggestion that the label “Abu Sayyaf” has often been applied to armed gangs, a staple of the unsettled conditions in the Philippine South for over a century; (3) the groups ideological core may actually be made up of only several minimal and medial alliance groups and their leaders; (4) a consensus that from late 2003 Khaddafy Janjalani assumed complete control over the Abu Sayyaf, as he returned the group to its political Islamic roots after years in the wilderness of banditry (1998-2003); and (5) the Abu Sayyaf’s enjoyment of widespread support in certain districts on Jolo. Unsettled conditions on Jolo and Basilan islands in the southwestern Philippines have seriously hampered efforts to obtain information about the Abu Sayyaf. The Abu Sayyaf has remained shrouded in mystery due to military censorship, insecure conditions, and the unpredictability of local “entrepreneurs of violence” on the islands of Jolo and Basilan, the group’s home territories. This article attempts to broaden the understanding of its structure. 118 notes
Main Term(s): Philippines; Revolutionary or terrorist groups
Index Term(s): Group behavior; Group dynamics; Religion; Terrorist ideologies; Terrorist profiles
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