07 March 2018
Pro-ISIS militants who seized the southern city of Marawi for five months last year have regrouped and are planning similar attacks elsewhere, the Philippine military and the country’s largest Muslim rebel group have warned.
The regional authorities are concerned that while ISIS is defeated in Iraq and Syria, returning fighters are joining forces with terror groups in South-east Asia to form cells and work to create a caliphate.
Philippine security forces have, since January, netted three foreigners they suspect slipped into the country to rally fellow militants.
Malaysia rounded up 10 suspected militants last month. Two are Filipinos believed to be top leaders of Abu Sayyaf, which is attempting to establish a cell in Sabah to help fighters get to Mindanao.
Said Mr Jasminder Singh of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies: “The Maute group and their allies failed to capture Marawi and convert it into an outpost of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s so-called caliphate. However, they managed to turn the narrative into a rallying call and a model for regional militants to emulate.”
ICPVTR / Online / Print
Last updated on 12/03/2018