25 July 2016
The spectre of Islamist terror groups has resurfaced in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) adjoining the southern Philippines. The supposed Islamic State (IS) is the latest iteration of the threat in an area of competing territorial claims, regional politicking and complacent security.
The self-proclaimed Islamic State’s (IS) designation of a wilayah (province) in southern Philippines is a strategic move by the terrorist organisation to establish its presence in the region. IS has proven that the hoisting of a radical utopian symbolism is enough, both as a rallying call and a mode of terror.
IS welcomed Southeast Asian terrorists into its fold, forming a Southeast Asian brigade known as Katibah Nusantara (KN). It accepted the bai’aat (pledges of allegiance) of distant supporters and promised to announce a new wilayah in the Philippines once conditions were favourable. It selected an Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leader Isnilon Hapilon as its emir in the Philippines. In a video Al-Bunyan Al-Marsus (The Solid Structure), Southeast Asian fighters in Raqqa, Syria called for their countrymen to migrate to Al-Filibin, IS’ latest province. IS provides regular coverage of the soldiers of the Islamic State in the Philippines in updates by A’maaq News Agency (ANA) and the An-Naba’ newspaper.
… Jasminder Singh is a Senior Analyst and Muhammad Haziq bin Jani a Research Analyst at the S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 26/07/2016