On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that a terrorist group in the southern part of the Philippines, called the Abu Sayyaf, beheaded a Canadian national.
But before this tragic news broke out, the world knows little about this internationally-branded terrorist group and its ties with the infamous ISIS. The group’s latest victim was a 68-year old John Ridsdel from Calgary.
Although Trudeau was outraged by Ridsdel’s death and vowed to run after those who are responsible for the crime, he refused to give further comments so as not to compromise the effort to recover the remaining hostages of the terrorist group, the CTV News Reported.
The Abu Sayyaf’s link with the ISIS is no secret. In fact, in 2014 the group has pledged allegiance to ISIS, the CBC News reported. In a video posted on YouTube, the group’s new leader Isnilon Hapilon, who appeared masked in the video, said the group would obey ISIS regardless if it’s their hearts’ desire above anyone else.
“We will not take any emir [leader] other than him unless we see in him any obvious act of disbelief that could be questioned by Allah in the hereafter,” the group said on the video.
The group has been operating in the Muslim dominated parts of the southern Philippines since its inception in the 1990s with Abdurajik Abubakar as its founding leader. Since Abubakar’s death in an encounter with the Philippine police in 1998, the group has since changed leadership several times.
Before Abu Sayyaf’s allegiance with ISIS, the group has been linked to other international extremist groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah and Al Qaeda. Just like ISIS and other Muslim extremist groups, Abu Sayyaf’s ultimate goal is to establish a separate Islamic State and to implement Shariah law in the country’s southern-most part.