EXPLANATORY STATEMENT (Selected extracts below)
Criminal Code Act 1995 http://www.ag.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx
Criminal Code (Terrorist Organisation – Abu Sayyaf Group) Regulation 2013 http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/cca1995115/
The purpose of the Regulation is to specify Abu Sayyaf Group, also known as Abou Sayaf Armed Band, Abou Sayyef Group, Abu Sayaff Group, Al-Harakat Al Aslamiya, Al-Harakat Al-Islamiyya, Al-Harakat-ul Al-Islamiyya, Al Harakatul Islamia, and Mujahideen Commando Freedom Fighters, for the purpose of paragraph (b) of the definition of ‘terrorist organisation’ in subsection 102.1(1) of the Code.
ASG has been linked to numerous kidnappings in Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga City and other areas in Western Mindanao. Westerners and other wealthy foreign nationals, as well as local politicians, business people, and civilians feature among the broad range of kidnap targets. Kidnappings reliably attributed to ASG since its re listing by the Australian Government as a terrorist organisation on 29 October 2010 include:
• On 5 December 2011, Australian national Warren Richard Rodwell was abducted from his residence in Ipil, Mindanao. In a January 2013 proof-of-life video of Mr Rodwell uploaded to YouTube, his captors stated he was being held by members of Al-Harakat Al-Islamiyya (ASG) and that money gained from his kidnapping was to be used for future operations. Mr Rodwell was released by his captors in March 2013.
On the basis of the above information, ASIO assesses ASG continues to be directly and/or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of, terrorist acts involving threats to human life and serious damage to property. ASIO further assesses that elements of ASG remain active, retain a capability to conduct attacks, and have an enduring intent to directly prepare, plan, assist in or foster the doing of terrorist acts.
In the course of pursuing its objectives, ASG is known to have engaged in acts that:
• cause, or could cause, serious damage to property or the death of persons, endanger a person’s life or create a serious risk to a person’s safety;
• are intended to have those effects;
• are done with the intention of advancing ASG’s political, religious or ideological causes; and
• are done with the intention of intimidating sections of the public of the Philippines and other persons visiting areas in which the group operates.
The above acts include actions which have been done or threatened with the intention of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause and with the intention of coercing or influencing by intimidation, the central government and people of the Philippines. The actions or threatened actions which ASG is assessed to be involved in would, if successfully completed, cause serious physical harm and death to persons and serious damage to property.
This assessment is corroborated by information provided by reliable intelligence sources.
Other relevant information
Proscription by the United Nations and other countries
ASG is listed in the United Nations’ 1267 (al-Qa’ida) Committee’s Consolidated List and as a proscribed organisation by the governments of Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Peace and mediation processes
ASG has not been a party to any peace discussions with the Philippine Government.