Osama bin Laden's death could help undermine a Southeast Asian terror organization, according to analysis in the Asia Times Online. Abu Sayyaf, an al-Qaida affiliate based in the Philippines and founded with help from bin Laden, could suffer far more than other al-Qaida offshoots in the wake of the terrorist's death, the report finds.
Abu Sayyaf will "disintegrate" with the loss of its "leadership, logistics, and people," predicts Philippine national security adviser Cesar Garcia following bin Laden's killing. This forecast is unusual, as many expect his death to invigorate al-Qaida branches worldwide.
While al-Qaida did not deeply entrench itself in the Philippines, bin Laden personally helped create Abu Sayyaf in the 1980s and provided logistical support during the 1990s by sending "emissaries" and bomb experts to the region. But bin Laden's direct contact diminished after 9/11. Thereafter, ideological inspiration "became his most important contribution." As a result, some contend his death will ultimately lead to the group's downfall.
Bin Laden's killing adds to other Abu Sayyaf setbacks. Recent intelligence-based operations undertaken by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) resulted in the January capture of Umar Patek in Pakistan. He was a member of Jemaah Islameeyah (JI), another Southeast Asian al-Qaeda affiliate linked to Abu Sayyaf.
Patek was travelling to meet bin Laden in Abbottabad when captured, Asia Times Online reported. With bin Laden dead and Patek captured, the ties between the groups "have been cut, perhaps irreparably."
Last week, Philippine authorities also captured Andurahman Luy Andang, alias Abu Nas, another "notorious Abu Sayyaf bandit" blamed for kidnappings and beheadings, The Nation reported.