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472 Days Captive of the Abu Sayyaf

The Survival of Australian Warren Rodwell

Author(s): Bob East

Book Description

In December 2011, the Australian world traveller, ex-member of the Australian Regular Army and university teacher Warren Richard Rodwell was kidnapped for ransom in the Mindanao region of the southern Philippines by a group of criminals claiming to be members of the notorious terrorist/insurgent organisation the Abu Sayyaf Group. This particular group had loose ties with other insurgent groups that were indulging in similar criminal activity in the greater Sulu Archipelago area including the Zamboanga peninsular – where Rodwell was abducted. Rodwell was kept prisoner for a total of 472 days making him the longest held Australian captive outside of official Prisoners-of-War (POWs).

During his 472 days of captivity he was moved between various jungle hideouts in the Islands of Basilan and Tawi-Tawi, eventually being freed by his captors only a few kilometres from where he was originally kidnapped. His tale of survival is made all the more remarkable considering he endured an untreated gunshot wound and an almost starvation diet – losing over one third of his body weight – and was forced to walk and climb in oppressive heat and under constant threat of being beheaded.

When he was finally released in March 2013 he was emaciated, physically and emotionally at the lowest point in his life, and totally bewildered. During his period of obligatory debriefing by both Philippine and Australian authorities, an amazing tale of survival unfolded. Rodwell’s determination to overcome all obstacles in his path to eventual freedom is the quintessence of all that is dear in life – life itself.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-7058-0
ISBN-10: 1-4438-7058-7
Date of Publication: 01/01/2015
Pages / Size: 195 / A5
Price: £41.99


Dr Bob East is an Australian independent researcher and author, and holds a PhD in International Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. His research specialises in insurgency and associated criminality in the southern Philippines. This book follows on from his 2013 publication Terror Truncated: The decline of the Abu Sayyaf Group from the crucial year 2002. Bob lives on a rural property in the south-east region of Queensland, Australia with his Philippine-born wife Maria.