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Iraqis helping Abu Sayyaf – Sali

Hamsiraji Sali, an Abu Sayyaf leader based in Basilan province, claims that the group has been receiving P1 million ($18,518) every year as war funding from people close to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. “So we would have something to spend on chemicals for bomb-making and for the movement of our people in Mindanao,” Sali said. He noted that the financial support for the group, which now styles itself as the Al Harakatul Al Islamiya, started pouring in when the Abu Sayyaf demonstrated that it was capable of putting the Philippines in a bad light. “We showed this by kidnapping more than 70 people in Tumahu-bong and Sinangkapan,” Sali said, referring to the mass abduction that took place on March 20, 2000, in Sumisip and Tuburan towns, when 78 schoolteachers and pupils were taken hostage. He said the group’s firearms, transported to Mindanao via Cambodia and Vietnam, were being provided by some contacts in the Middle East. “Then somebody receives them in Malaysia and sends them to the Philippines.” Full Story

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