A Day With The Mujahideen Of The BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters) - 2

15 May 2012

A Day With The Mujahideen Of The BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters) - 1

By Ikhwah Al-Mujahidun

To hear a bit the reasons why Commander Kato (Ustadz Amiril Umbra Kato) broke away from the MILF, the following is the excerpt of an interview with him in Central Mindanao:

Reporter: Ustadz, may we ask you some questions?

Kato: Yes you may.

Reporter: Is it true that you the one known by the name Amirul Umbro Kato?

Kato: Yes, it's true.

Reporter: How is your position within the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) now?

Kato: I am the commander in the area of the 105th Base Command Defense headquarters, at the Central Mindanao MILF front.

Reporter: Is it true that you are now breaking away from the MILF?

Kato: Yes, indeed, the information about my secession (lost command) from the MILF is true, and it is not true if there is no reason for me to break away. As you know the 'lost command' is an English phrase which means that I am not a member of the MILF anymore. It means someone who is no longer a member of a group or organization, and shouldn't someone who is in an organization merge himself into it? And there was a desire within me to separate myself from the MILF's organization, and it means that I am no longer in the MILF organization.

If possible I would say officially that I am out of the MILF, and that is my hope and desire. Because, as you know an official statement that is indispensable is important, so that the people know what has actually happened and it is very important for me to make a decision, so that people do not misjudge. 

Reporter: Ustadz, what exactly did you do to initiate resistance activities in the area of North Cotabato ?

Kato: Like the information that has reached you, from what I have presented recently of what actually happened, so that people do not get me wrong. Because, you know the incident in North Cotabato as we talked about earlier, that was really something real to start a war against the government forces, for as you are well aware that on 1st July, the forces of the Filipino government and Cafgu (the volunteer troops supporting the Government) had confronted and fought with our troops in the area of Tubag, Alisan in North Cotabato.

In the battle, none of our friends from the other units of the MILF helped us, silence... silence.. and silence, as if it was only us who dealt with them (the Armed Forces Of the Philippines). When we fought, dealing with the soldiers of Philippines, we surely cannot fight alone. As you know, there is a proverb about the crab that the only stays in its hole, and it is useless if it does not come out and do activities.

Such is the present situation, of course there is nothing they can do to ward off the invaders in various places if they do not come out to fight. That is what actually happened, and this resistance we are doing is considered to be a part of the terrorism acts. So those who struggle truthfully are called terrorists. If for example they, the Sundalo (Filipino forces) move to attack us, then we will certainly fight back, because we are not the people of Tausug, we are not the people of Visayas, and we are not the people of Cota but we are the people who defend our land, which is our rights.

Reporter: Why did the Government make a contest with a prize of 10 million Pesos to capture you?

Kato: As you know, all the Government's attempts to attack us were very much in need of costs, from ammunitions, artilleries, heavy vehicles (tanks), the cost of the forces and operations of the cost of fighter planes and helicopters, it all takes enormous costs.

Perhaps that is what caused the Government to create a contest to capture me. Or perhaps the Government was running out of tactic to annihilate us, so much so that they announced that for anyone who can catch us alive or dead, and then surrender us to the government, then the government will reward 10 million Pesos, yes that's a sign they've run out of tactic.

With regard to war tactics, it is actually not a new thing in Islam, you already know that Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam in the circumstances of jihad never ran out of tactics in war against their enemies, until his enemies in Makkah ran out of tactic, to the point that they planned to capture and kill Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam while announcing that anyone who dare to kill him will get a prize of 100 khamers. It means that all of the tactics of the enemies were deployed to confront the power of Islam, but it has already been the case since a long time ago, since the time of Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, therefore we need not be afraid to confront them. Even though they have sophisticated battle equipments.

Reporter: Why do disturbance or conflict happen here, in the province of Maguindanao, such as in Datupiang, Syarif Aguak, Datu Saudi Municipality, Datu Munzae, Mamasapano, Talayan and other places in the province of Maguindanao.

Kato: I view the plan (of the MILF) before was a bit choked up with the presence of disturbances or conflicts in Mindanao committed by President Arroyo, and that was their plan before, their former plan like what had been disclosed, and had been agreed upon by the MILF. But the plan that has been running since 10 years ago, by making agreements under the legislation of the Government of Philippines, produces no result.

And look at the proof, since the agreements are under the control of the Government, the MILF has always become like a 'plaything' or the party that is cheated, tricked and harmed. The Commission Agreement between the GRP-MILF which has been done since 10 years ago, is always controlled by the judiciary laws of Philippines, the point here is, despite the Commission's agreement between the GRP-MILF made in Malaysia, but was still under the control of the judiciary laws, it is impossible to produce an outcome that is favourable to the MILF....

Thus was his explanation in the form of an interview (translated by Abu Yusuf from Tagalong language) with regards to his separation from the MILF, the very famous Moro liberation organization which used to be led by Sheikh Salamat Hasyim rahimahullah, but now is no longer worthy to hold the title "MILF Mujahideen" as they are getting very secular under the leadership of Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim. In those circumstances, many or most of the members of the MILF formed new factions, including the BIFF which is led by him (Kato).

To this day, the BIFF which is led by Ustadz Amiril Umbra Kato and which has been operating for more than 4 years, has brought together the Mujahideen who are sincerely struggling in South Mindanao, with various progress of their attacks and domination of areas in Mindanao, because of that he became a new icon for the Moro jihad trusted by the ummah.

Ustadz Mohammad Ali Tambako, New Leader of BIFF

However, since 3 months ago, around the month of January 2012 the amir of the BIFF, Ustadz Kato has suffered stroke which interferes with the health of this Ulama' in leading their journey of jihad. Therefore the leaderships of the BIFF did a mushawarah and decided to appoint a new amir to replace him. So Ustadz Mohammad Ali Tambako was chosen to be the new amir of the BIFF.

He is a very young Ulama' and Doctor of Shari'ah, the Khartoum, Sudan graduate. After finishing his Masters in Shari'ah in Saudi Arabia.

Although there are parties who still doubt the leadership of this young Ulama', due to the absence of a military background that is required in leading a jihad tandhim. We pray to Allah SWT to always guide the Mujahideen and given them His Help. Until victory is achieved and the Daulah Islamiyah is established.

The Amaliyat that Sustains the Establishment of the BIFF in Mindanao

The Ampatuan incident, namely the Maguindanao massacre on 24th November 2009, where the governor of Ampatuan with his armed militias killed the family and supporters of the candidate for the governor of Manguda Dato. A total of 57 people, including tens of journalists, became victims of the massacre. And which later caused the downfall of governor Dato Andal Ampatuan for calling himself Dato Andal "fir'aun" Ampatuan.

Hundreds of family members and militiamen of Ampatuan were then rounded up by the police and faced the charges of massacre. Thousands of weapons and ammunitions belonging to Ampatuan had been forced to be surrendered and became spoils for various parties which vied to get hold of them, including the Mujahideen who got their shares. Datu Andal Ampatuan was a Governor from the Moro people who became the 'extended hand' of the former president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The most cruel and ruthless governor of the region of Maguindanao for killing Muslims indiscriminately, who obviously are the families of Mujahideen.

The Mujahideen of the BIFF also obtained abundant ghonimah from this incident of Datu Adal Ampatuan's arrest. More than 200 automatic weapons, ranging from M-16, M14, Ultimax, M2, dozens of M-60 machine guns, in fact even ' 50 caliber heavy weapons and mortars became the ghonimah of the Mujahideen.

The Rizq of Allah Ta'ala given to whomever He likes

In the past, when the BIFF were still the DIVISION 105 under the MILF, they were the implacable enemy of Dato Andal Ampatuan due to their geographical locations which were equally in the province of Maguindanao. Therefore, they are the ones who get the huge ghonimah, that made the Division 105 the strongest division of the MILF and whose weaponry are the most complete, i.e. which was led by Ustadz Amiril Umbra Kato.

In the 2008 war, according to the assertion of Ustadz Amiril Umbra Kato, they received no help, not even one bullet from the leadership of the MILF. With this dumb attitude of the MILF officials, therefore since that incident, they instead became the most feared division in Maguindanao.

Not to mention the workshops (manufacture of weapons) with which they have been able to create fearsome sniper weapons. The barrels of the '50 caliber weapon have been modified by them to become more potent sniper weapons, which even outmatch the sniper weapons from the Barreta types, and are currently widely produced and can be traded with anyone for an affordable price.

Due to that, the BIFF has become the most feared faction in Maguindanao for the government of Philippines, and become their strongest enemy. May Allah give them victory, amin.

[Abu Yusuf/voa-islam.com]



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