12 May 2017
In June 2016, ISIS released a video that recognised the pledges of allegiance of various miltant groups in Mindanao. In that video Isnilon Hapilon, leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was recognised as amir of the ISIS groups. It also alluded to the conglomeration of ISIS elements in the Philippines. The A’maaq News Agency, an ISIS mouthpiece acknowledged the presence of ten such groups in six locations throughout Mindanao. This would include the four featured in the video, ASG, the Maute Group (MG), and Katibah al-Muhajir, a cell consisting of migrants from Malaysia and Indonesia.
At about the same time, An-Naba’, ISIS’ official weekly newsletter and other sources had begun reporting news of skirmishes and attacks, and the taking over of militant camps, as if they were engaging in regular warfare. On 24 November 2016, in an attempt at securing territory, MG planted the ISIS flag in front of the municipal hall of Butig, Lanao del Sur, in a siege that displaced close to three quarters of the population of the town. It took six days for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to push MG back into the hills.
… Jasminder Singh is a Senior Analyst and Muhammad Haziq Jani a Research Analyst with the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 17/05/2017