The official designated spokesperson and negotiator of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group. Abu Sabaya (real name is Abu Ahmad Salayuddin) is well known for his appearances on Philippine TV during the Sipadan hostage crisis, in his trademark black ski mask and Ray-Bans, usually brandishing an AK-47 or an RPG launcher.
He was generally used by the Abu Sayyaf as a go-between during the negotiatiations with ex-President Estrada's administration in late 2000.
He has also managed to circumvent the news blackout of the May 2001 Palawan hostage crisis by airing a couple of messages on a local radio station, RMN-DXRZ; apparently, by convincing the station manager that the hostages were actually under fire at the time (judging from sounds of gunfire in the background). A hostage, Teresa Ganzon, was also heard pleading that the military assault be stopped (although nobody is sure whether or not the plea was made under duress.) Later, he claimed two hostages were killed in an early-morning gun battle, but he failed to give any names. He has also been rumored to have given orders that the hostages be dressed in military fatigues, to increase the chance that they will be hit by government troops.
Military analysts regard him as a gifted media spin doctor, and the said news blackout was partly out of fear that he and his comrades would try and re-use the same spin tactics that helped them draw out the Sipadan crisis last year.
On June 21, 2002, Abu Sabaya was reported as having been killed in action, along with two of his men, in a running gun battle on the high seas with the government's elite Special Warfare Group. The local US Embassy had offered a one-millon-dollar bounty on his head at the time, in addition to the five-million-peso bounty offered by the Philippine government. Although his body was not recovered, no sign of the Abu Sayyaf leader has surfaced months after his reported death.
Information gathered from several TV broadcasts in 2001 (mostly from ABS-CBN Channel 2 and GMA Channel 7).