09 July 2016
Indonesian and Malaysian militants have joined the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in fighting Filipino security forces in the southern province of Basilan in the Muslim autonomous region, reports said.
Abu Sayyaf chieftain Isnilon Hapilon who is based in Basilan province is now the leader of the Islamic State’s new battalion in the Philippines, the Katibah Al-Muhajir or the “Battalion of Migrants” made mostly of Indonesian and Malaysian jihadists.
Malaysian media also quoted Singapore-based terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna as saying that the new battalion in Basilan was set up because of difficulties faced by IS recruits in going to Syria and Iraq.
“Now we have seen that in the Philippines, IS has created Katibah Al-Muhajir, the Battalion of Migrants. They are (made up of) Malaysians and Indonesians,” he was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times. “There are about 10 Malaysians (there now),” he added, citing intelligence on the new battalion.
GPO / ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 11/07/2016