Abu Sayyaf co-founder pleads guilty in US federal court

Madhatta Haipe

A founding member of the Philippine Jihadist terrorist organization Abu Sayyaf pled guilty today in federal court in Washington, DC to the 1995 kidnapping of 16 people, including four US citizens.

Madhatta Haipe, a Philippine citizen who was extradited to the United States in 2009, pled guilty to four counts of hostage taking and faces up to 25 years in prison as part of a plea agreement, according to the Justice Department.

Haipe admitted organizing the kidnap of four US citizens, one US permanent resident and 11 Philippine citizens in December 1995 near remote waterfalls on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

Abu Sayyaf  is designated terrorist organization by the US, and was founded in the 1990s with funding from Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda-network to fight for an independent Islamic state in the south of mostly Catholic Philippines.

The Jihadist terrorists of Abu Sayyaf often resort to hostage taking, mostly targeting foreigners and Christians, to raise money from ransoms. Failure to pay ransoms often results in the beheading of the hostages.

Abu Sayyaf is also capable of much larger attacks, such as the bombing of a ferry in Manila Bay in 2004 that killed more than 100 and was the Philippines’ worst terrorist attack.

Hopefully, Haipe will not be allowed to proselytize during his 25 year stay in US federal prison. He will be 73 years old when he gets out of prison, should he serve his full sentence.


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