What Is Abu Sayyaf and What Do They Want In The Philippines?

After years of terrorizing the south of the Philippines, Abu Sayyaf has pledged allegiance to ISIS. So what is Abu Sayyaf?

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18 Philippine Soldiers Killed in Firefight With Militant Group (nytimes.com)
"At least 18 soldiers were killed and more than 50 wounded in a gun battle in the southern Philippines between government forces and the militant group Abu Sayyaf, military officials said Sunday."

Philippines: Abu Sayyaf back in the spotlight (aljazeera.com)
"Once described as a spent force that had been isolated in remote southern Philippine jungles, a group of Muslim fighters has again thrust its menacing face into the international spotlight by abducting foreigners and professing support for ISIL combatants halfway across the world."

Guide to the Philippines conflict (bbc.com)
"The southern Philippines has a long history of conflict, with armed groups including Muslim separatists, communists, clan militias and criminal groups all active in the area."

Abu Sayyaf Group (csis.org)
"Founded in the early 1990s as a Filipino Muslim (Moro) terrorist organization, the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) emerged as a more violent Islamist alternative to the stagnated political movements of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)."