A November incident holds important lessons about the militant group’s changing operations, as well as how to counter them.
By Jay Benson
In the predawn hours of November 3, a boat with seven Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members left a small island in the Sulu archipelago on a suspected kidnap for ransom operation. Locals had seen the group of unfamiliar men the day before and informed the security services. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) forces intercepted the vessel in the darkness. It was fired upon by a helicopter before being rammed and split in two by a Philippine Navy vessel. An ASG leader, Mannor Sawadjaan, and the remaining six fighters were killed in the operation.
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