Islamic terrorist organization emerged after the split of Moro National Liberation Front in 1991. Based on the Island of Mindanao. The group’s objective – to create Islamic nation. Abdurajik Abubakar Janjalani headed the group until 1998. ASG numbers up to 200 members. Those are mainly young Moslems, many of whom studied or worked in Persian Gulf countries where they were exposed to Islamic propaganda.
The core of the name is Islamic legend about a sword of Abu Sayyaf. The group’s members, according to some testimonies called themselves as “sword-bearers”; image of a sword has been also used as the group's emblem.

Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base. (2006). www.tkb.org/Group.jsp-groupID=204.htm
Corriere della Sera - Filippine, 20 turisti rapiti da ribelli musulmani. (2006). http://ricerca.corriere.it/Primo_Piano/Esteri/05_Maggio/27/filippine.shtml