Edited by Andrew T.H. Tan
Chapter 10: ‘Radical Muslim Terrorism’ in the Philippines
Rommel C. Banlaoi Though the problem of terrorism has become a very serious global security threat, it has deep domestic roots. The threat of international terrorism is inherently local in origin.1 There is even a view that al-Qaeda, the most notorious network of radical Muslim terrorist organizations to date, will return to their local roots.2 Thus, it is essential to consider the domestic milieu of terrorist threat to grasp fully its complexities and nuances. The Philippines is not spared from the threats posed by domestic terrorism. Linkages of domestic terrorist organizations in the Philippines with international terrorist organizations confound the virulence of these threats. The Philippine government even regards the local communist insurgency as a very serious terrorist problem. This chapter, however, focuses on terrorist threats in the Philippines emanating from radical Muslim groups. While the problem of terrorism is not entirely a radical Muslim phenomenon, the lion’s share of terrorist acts and the most devastating of them in recent years are said to have been perpetrated by radical Muslim organizations.3 This chapter examines the following radical Muslim organizations that have been reported to have committed acts of terrorism: Moro National Liberation Front, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Abu Sayyaf Group, the Rajah Solaiman Movement, and the Abu Soﬁa Group. This chapter also includes a brief discussion on the concept of ‘radical Muslim terrorism’ and on the historical context of the radicalization of selected Muslim organizations in the Philippines. What is radical Muslim terrorism? There is no clear-cut deﬁnition...
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