12 January 2016
The Armed Forces of Philippines downplayed on Tuesday an assessment made by a Singapore-based analyst that the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) may soon establish a “wilayat” or province in Mindanao, the Southern Philippines.
AFP spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla reiterated that the military has not gathered information to prove a verified connection of IS with the local terrorist groups, including the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
Earlier, analyst Rohan Gunaratna said the “ISIS-initiated merger of the fighting formations and unification of the leaders present an unprecedented challenge to the Manila government.”
Gunaratna, author of Inside al-Qaeda and head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore, said the next likely step of IS in the Philippines “is the proclamation of wilayat Mindanao.”
GPO / ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 13/01/2016