Akonjee was described as a peaceful man who was beloved within Ozone Park's large Muslim community.
The hooded men shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) before fleeing in a prison vehicle
Gulen said democracy cannot be achieved through military action.
"The very suggestion is repugnant and an affront to everything we stand for as Americans," he said.
"Islam never called for the spilling of blood."
Army helicopters attacked the rebels with rockets and 19 of them were wounded
He swept to victory despite repeated accusations from his rivals that he sympathised with Islamic extremists -- which he denies
"We are Muslims, we will not allow Islam to be divided."
Abu Sayyaf has posted videos on social media sites pledging allegiance to Islamic State