AFP monitors ASG in wake of controversial anti-Islam film PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 13:52

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Col. Arnulfo M. Burgos yesterday said military intelligence units are keeping close tabs on the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) who might take advantage of the worldwide uproar caused by the showing of the anti-Islamic film “Innocence of Muslims” in the Internet.

“That is always a possibility as the ASG has strong links with the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) who in turn has ties with the Al-Qaeda,” he stressed.

But the AFP spokesperson pointed out that the ASG will have great difficulty in conducting their spoiling raids as they are isolated in the jungles of Basilan thanks to the efforts of the military and police.

“But we will monitor them just the same so that we will not be caught flat-footed by any incident,” he pointed out.

Despite the lack of sighting reports by the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Islamic extremists in the country, Burgos stressed that security forces are not letting their guard down and are keeping the ASG and their JI sympathizers under tight watch.

“Our security and intelligence units are on top of the situation,” he emphasized.

As this develops, Burgos expressed confidence that the incident in Marawi City, in Lanao Del Sur where Muslim residents have protested the slurs allegedly heaped by the controversial film on the Islamic faith through rallies will not turn violent.

“Filipinos as a rule are generally peace loving people, the situation here in the Philippines and other countries is very different. For starters, we have ongoing peace initiatives with the Muslim groups as exemplified by our ongoing negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front,” he added.

Burgos issued this statement after Muslim extremist groups attacked and killed the American Ambassador to Libya and three of his staff after the film circulated through the Internet last week.