‘Spent force’ can still strike like a cobra
The Abu Sayyaf may be a “spent force” but it is still like a cornered cobra that can viciously strike back with venomous and deathly blow. This terrorist group will not stop pursuing its goals, attacking its targets, wreaking havoc and creating discord between Muslim and Christian Filipinos. But while the Abu Sayyaf plots against non-Muslims, it is not exactly selective with its targets as its ultimate goal is precisely to create terror. Statistics from international intelligence community show that its victims are mostly innocent Muslim civilians. The body count is exacerbated by the consequential tragedy of terrorists’ acts—Muslims who have nothing to do at all with Abu Sayyaf’s un-Islamic offenses and heinous crimes are lumped together with the terrorist group. In turn, Abu Sayyaf’s Muslim victims vent their ire on non-Muslims. Either way, the Abu Sayyaf terrorists succeed with their ruthless agenda.
While we have no means to validate the rumor that Abu Sayyaf members are out to abduct or kidnap Catholic priests and nuns in order to show that they are not a spent force, it will not harm the Muslim and Christian communities to guard against these ruthless criminals.
Targeting religious workers is just another attempt to destabilize and create rifts within and between, harmonious families and peaceful communities. The Abu Sayyaf, like other terrorist organizations, does not have a political ideology or a religious inclination even as it likes to project its members as fanatics. Its members are simply mad men out to satisfy their mania for blood and to keep their victims in agony and fear—regardless of whether they are Muslims or Christians. The Abu Sayyaf terrorists have always been like this since they had their first taste of blood.
—RINA DE JESUS,
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