The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre has warned ship operators of potential attacks by the Abu Sayyaf Group in the Sabah area of Malaysia after receiving information from the Philippine Coast Guard.
According to ReCAAP, a group of around five Abu Sayyaf Group members armed with assorted firearms is planning to conduct kidnapping activities in undisclosed areas around Sabah, and they are targeting wealthy businessmen or crew of fishing boats and other slow-moving ships. The group came from Sulu and was monitored to have landed at Omapoy Island of the Philippines.
ReCAAP has strongly advised ship masters and crew to exercise extra vigilance when transiting the waters off Eastern Sabah and in the Sulu-Celebes Seas.
The Abu Sayyaf Group is an Islamic terrorist group based in the southern Philippines. It has carried out numerous bombings, kidnappings, assassinations, and extortion activities since the 1990s.