21 January 2016
The Filipino government won’t confirm it but several testimonies and reports on terrorism in recent months suggest the southernPhilippines region, where radical Islamic groups are known to be active, has become the new haven of the Islamic State, or IS.
One of the strongest indications comes from a video that recently began circulating on the internet, showing around 30 heavily armed men declaring allegiance to the jihadist organization.
The armed men in the video include several known Islamic leaders from the southern island of Mindanao, such as Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, Abu Anas al-Muhajir of the Ansar al-Shariah radical group, andAbu Sharifa of the Ansar al-Khilafa group.
… “The ISIS-initiated merger of the fighting formations and unifications of the leaders (in the Philippines) will present an unprecedented challenge to the Manila government,” Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore, told the media.
“With the proclamation of an ISIS branch in the southern Philippines, the ISIS influence and ideology is likely to grow” in the region, Gunaratna added.
GPO / ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 25/01/2016