Terrorism in the Philippines
Aruna Gopinath, National Defence University
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Last month, the terror group Abu Sayyaf filmed the beheading of Canadian hostage John Ridsdel and uploaded the video on the internet. This is the latest in a series of barbaric acts committed on an increasingly frequent basis. Four Malaysians were kidnapped in March off Sabah’s east coast and are currently held captive in the Southern Philippines. Negotiations are reportedly on-going to secure their release, and prevent a repeat of Sarawakian Bernard Then, who was beheaded late last year. Aruna Gopinath, Professor of Politics and International Relations at the National Defence University, helps us understand the history of Abu Sayyaf and its motivations. Professor Aruna spent her career studying the problem of terrorism in the Philippines and is the only Malaysian woman to have conducted fieldwork in the dangerous rebel-controlled areas of Southern Philippines.
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