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RP Troops Launch New Offensive In Jolo Island ; Sayyaf Produces Own Jihadist Video

ICC Note: An Islamic militant group in the Philippines has produced a video proclaiming its intent to establish an Islamic state through violence and asking for prayer and financial support.

8/17/07 Philippines (Mindanao Examiner) – Philippine troops on Thursday launched fresh operation to capture leaders of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group and two Jemaah Islamiya bombers in Jolo island, officials said…

General Eugenio Cedo, Western Mindanao Command chief, said troops were pursuing Abu Sayyaf militants and the two Jemaah Islamiya terrorists blamed by Jakarta for the deadly bombings in the resort island of Bali in 2002.

“Our forces are tracking down the terrorists,” Cedo said in a separate interview…

The U.S. listed the Abu Sayyaf and the Jemaah Islamiya as foreign terrorist organizations and offered as much as $10 million reward for Dulmatin’s capture and $1 million for Patek…

The Abu Sayyaf is said to have prepared a one-hour and two-minute video titled, “The Filipino Lions are Coming”, featuring speeches from the group’s leadership and footage of its Mujahidin training, according to the website of the SITE Intelligence Group.

The video, similar to previously released by the al-Qaeda and other radical groups in Iraq and Afghanistan , is advertised on jihadist forums as forthcoming and was obtained by SITE Intelligence Group. This is the first time that material from Abu Sayyaf group will be distributed within the jihadist Internet community.

“Two if its former leaders, founder Abdul Raziq Abubakar Janjalani AKA Abu Sayyaf, and Khadaffy Janjalani, each appear in archived footage urging Muslims to contribute support, both financial and material, to the Mujahidin in Abu Sayyaf. The mission of the group is patterned after al-Qaeda and other Salafist movements, seeking the creation of a pan-Islam state, and as stated by Abdul Raziq Janjalani,” SITE said.

“Our only goal is to try to establish an Islamic state. We understand that establishing a Muslim State is not limited to Mindanao … We do not have any choice but to start with Mindanao . If we succeed, we will move to Visayas, then to Besoon, Allah willing, until we reach al-Quds [ Jerusalem ],” excerpts from the video said.

The presentation provides the background of Abu Sayyaf, both captions and Abdul Raziq Janjalani, setting it as distinct from other movements in the Philippines, namely the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Janjalani explained that despite negative propaganda of the Philippine government, Abu Sayyaf group does not commit militant acts for personal or political gain, but does so only in the name of Islam and jihad.

“To this end, he tells of the conditions in which the Mujahidin live, lacking ammunition, armaments, and medicine, and moreover, unable to record such messages and deliver them on account of the Philippine government.”

“A message from the producers of the video at its conclusion reiterates the call for financial support, but also urges prayers, and spreading the material of Abu Sayyaf group and inciting for their cause within the jihadist community and elsewhere,” SITE said….

(Full story)