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 Janjalani Designated for Leadership Position in the Abu Sayyaf Group



--Brutal Team of Separatists Operating in the Philippines--

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated Khadafi Abubakar Janjalani (Janjalani) for acting on behalf of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). Today's action was taken pursuant to Executive Order 13224.


"Janjalani is a despicable terrorist, responsible for the kidnappings and beheadings of American civilians and other innocents. We must do everything in our power to cut off individuals like him from their support lines," said Stuart Levey, Treasury's Under Secretary for the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI).


The ASG has been named a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) by the U.S. Government. The group was formed in the early 1990s under the leadership of Janjalani's older brother, Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani. Following the death of Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani in a clash with Philippine police in 1998, the younger Janjalani was elevated to a leadership position in the ASG, heading one of its major factions.


Janjalani perpetrated brutal acts of terrorism against U.S. citizens and foreign nationals. On August 29, 2000, Jeffrey Schilling, an American citizen, was kidnapped and held hostage for more than seven months by members of the ASG, including Janjalani. Using Schilling as leverage, the ASG demanded the release of three individuals imprisoned by the U.S. Government, payment of $10 million in ransom and the cessation of military operations by the Government of the Philippines against the ASG. The ASG accompanied these demands with threats to behead or otherwise kill Schilling if they were not met. Schilling managed to escape from his captors on April 12, 2001.


On May 27, 2001, roughly six weeks after Schilling's escape, the ASG � led by Janjalani � kidnapped three American and 17 Philippine nationals from the Dos Palmas Island Resort on the island of Palawan in the Philippines. The ASG again threatened to behead or otherwise kill the hostages if their demands were not met.


On June 1, 2001, two of the Philippine hostages were beheaded, and days later the ASG announced that it had also beheaded one of the American hostages, Guillermo Sobero. American hostages Martin and Gracia Burnham and Filipino hostage Ediborah Yap were held hostage for another year before Gracia Burnham was rescued on June 7, 2002. Martin Burnham and Ediborah Yap were both killed during an encounter between the ASG and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.


In March 2000, Janjalani led efforts by the ASG to kidnap a number of students and their teachers � several of whom were tortured and killed.


Janjalani, along with four conspirators, is wanted to stand trial in the United States. He is charged with the following offenses:

  • One count of conspiracy to commit hostage taking resulting in death;
  • One count of hostage taking and aiding and abetting; and
  • Three counts of hostage taking resulting in death and aiding and abetting.


Identifier Information


AKAs:  Khadafy Janjalani
             Khaddafy Abubakar Janjalani
             Abu Muktar


DOB: March 3, 1975
POB:  Isabela, Basilan, Philippines
Nationality:  Philippine


Janjalani was designated today pursuant to Executive Order 13224 under paragraphs 1(c) and 1(d) based on a determination that he acts for or on behalf of the ASG; assists in, sponsors or provides financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, the ASG and acts of terrorism; and is otherwise associated with the ASG, an entity listed as subject to E.O. 13224. 

Blocking actions such as today's are critical to combating the financing of terrorism.  When an action is put into place, any assets existing in the U.S. formal financial system at the time of the order are required to be frozen.  Blocking actions serve additional functions as well, including acting as a deterrent that puts the public on notice that they are prohibited from having any business or other dealings with the blocked person. This serves as a warning to non-designated parties who might otherwise be willing to finance terrorist activity. Additionally, blocking actions expose terrorist financing "money trails" that may generate leads to previously unknown terrorist cells and financiers, disrupt terrorist financing networks by encouraging designated terrorist supporters to disassociate themselves from terrorist activity and renounce their affiliation with terrorist groups; terminate terrorist cash flows by shutting down the pipelines used to move terrorist-related assets; force terrorists to use alternative, more costly and higher-risk means of financing their activities; and engender international cooperation.


With this action, the United States has designated 394 individuals and entities as terrorists, their financiers or facilitators. In addition, the global community has frozen over $144 million in terrorist-related assets.



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