18 April 2016
The reported claim of the Islamic State that the group was responsible for attacks in the Philippines is something that Filipinos should be concerned about since it brings the ISIS threat closer to home.
SITE Intelligence Group (SITE stands for Search for International Terrorist Entities), quoted a statement that was reportedly released by ISIS’ Amaq News Agency wherein the terrorist group claimed that ambushes in the Philippines killed nearly 100 troops.
News agency Reuters, quoted in a Philstar.com report, also reported that an ISIS statement said, “With the grace of god we were able to detonate seven trucks carrying soldiers” and that the terrorist group claimed they are behind the deaths of 23 soldiers in an encounter in Basilan last April 9.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, however, said there is no ISIS presence in the country. The military also dismissed the reported claim as possible propaganda with Western Mindanao Command spokesman Major Filemon Tan Jr., saying the figures don’t add up since there were only 18 casualties on the military side and not 23 as claimed in the report.
But while the government was quick to dismiss the ISIS claim, Dr. Rohan Gunaratna of the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research said the Philippine government should be concerned because the claim that was released had a ‘strong ISIS flavor’ and that the terror group has established a presence in the country by co-opting the Abu Sayyaf.
GPO / ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 19/04/2016