Group: Abu beheading to cause more U.S. intervention in PH PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 06 September 2014 13:43

The Philippines chapter of an international leftist group said on Friday the reported beheading of a security guard in Basilan by the Abu Sayyaf that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State will lead to more U.S. intervention in the country.

In a press statement Friday, Elmer Labog, chairman of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle Philippines (ILPS-Phils), condemned the latest attack by the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf as a “despicable act of barbarism intended to sow fear and instability in the country and to lead to more U.S. intervention as it does in Iraq and Syria.”

Labog said the beheading of Hadji Aldam, a security guard for Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Integrated Development Corp., last Saturday in Sumisip, Basilan– a hotbed of the Abu Sayyaf - came at a time when the U.S. is pivoting into Asia and intensifying intervention in the Philippines.

Sr. Supt. Mario Dapillosa, Basilan police director, confirmed the beheading of Aldam and said they had already recovered his body.

The photo, which has gone viral on social media and been verified by the police, shows Aldam’s severed head placed on top of pieces of wood with a bolo semi-automatic pistol in front and two militants seated on a bench - their faces concealed with cloth masks with only their eyes visible. Two others stand holding the Abu Sayyaf’s black flag with Arabic script.

The attack is reminiscent of recent videos on the Internet depicting the alleged beheadings of U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State (IS), a militant group formerly known as ISIS that has seized parts of Syria and Iraq.

Since the first video of Foley’s apparent death was released two weeks ago, U.S. forces have continued to carry out airstrikes against advancing IS forces in Iraq.

The Abu Sayyaf has recently pledged support to the IS in videos posted on Youtube.

A video posted in late July that opens with al-Qaeda’s symbolic black flag shows senior Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon – who carries a $5 million U.S. bounty on h is head and has been indicted in Washington for “terrorist acts” against foreign nationals - alongside masked men pledging allegiance to theIS.

The links, however, have yet to be verified by the Philippines military.

In his statement, Labog called the latest Abu Sayyaf attack “a failure of the [President] Aquino peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front [MILF],” referring to a March 27 deal that brought to a close 17 years of negotiations and ended a decades-old armed conflict in southern Mindanao island – which has claimed at least 120,000 lives - while granting Muslim areas greater political autonomy.

He compared recent Western involvement in Iraq following IS attacks to the U.S. military’s role in the Philippines by saying: “The ISIS attack afforded the U.S. and Britain and other EU states a chance to meddle again in Iraq under the guise of the war on terror and lending a humanitarian hand.

“The same is happening in Southern Philippines where US troops have maintained rotational presence and is engaged actively in intelligence and combat operations.”

Since 1991, the Abu Sayyaf — armed with mostly improvised explosive devices, mortars and automatic rifles — has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortions in a self-determined fight for an independent Islamic state.

It is notorious for beheading victims after ransoms have failed to be paid for their release.