Philippine security officials say they expect Osama bin Laden’s death to weaken local Islamic extremists and eventually lead to their end. A captured Abu Sayyaf commander, however, says his former comrades have hardly been affected by such major foreign setbacks.
The Department of National Defence said in a statement Tuesday that bin Laden’s death in a U.S. military operation in Pakistan would lead to the “total elimination” of the already isolated local terrorists.
Military spokesman Miguel Jose Rodriguez says Abu Sayyaf militants lost an inspirational leader and a sense of invincibility with bin Laden’s death.
But former Abu Sayyaf commander Abu Hamdie says the group has been affected by local circumstances more than outside events.