The Abu Sayyaf has engaged, at different moments in time in its long existence, sometimes more in criminal activities and sometimes more in acts of terrorism. After declaring its allegiance to the Islamic State in mid-2014, there has been a sharp rise in the group’s terrorist activities. This article uses empirical data to evaluate the influence that the Islamic State had on the Abu Sayyaf. Using data from the Global Terrorism Database, over 350 attacks carried out by the Abu Sayyaf during the pre-allegiance and post-allegiance periods are analysed. A Chi-Squared analysis shows that the relationship between the Abu Sayyaf’s allegiance to the Islamic State and the increase in terrorist activities of the Abu Sayyaf are statistically significant. The pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State influenced the targeting policies of the Abu Sayyaf: the odds that the group engaged in a terrorist attack in the post-allegiance period was approximately 1.75 times higher compared to the pre-allegiance period. Such fluctuations rather than a crime-terror nexus explain the extensive criminality displayed by the Abu Sayyaf at particular points in its history.
Last updated on 30/12/2019