04 June 2017
Indonesia’s National Police have identified 38 Indonesians, including one woman, who are suspected to be involved in the deadly siege by Maute militants on Marawi city in southern Philippines.
The Philippine militant group surfaced around 2013 and had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) last year.
About 100 of its fighters were involved in attacks in Marawi after a failed raid by security forces last month to arrest Isnilon Hapilon, who is under its protection.
Isnilon is one of the world’s most-wanted terrorists and an Abu Sayyaf commander who was handpicked by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to lead its campaigns in South-east Asia.
Mr Joseph Franco, a research fellow with the Centre of Excellence for National Security at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said the conflict in Marawi highlights the emergence of the Maute group as a potential “new magnet” for other ISIS-inspired militants in Mindanao.
“Manila must act swiftly to contain and defeat ISIS-inspired militants in central Mindanao, lest a protracted conflict increases Mindanao’s attractiveness as a hub for foreign terrorist fighters,” he said.
CENS / Online / Print
Last updated on 06/06/2017