Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note: Despite the recent victory against the Islamic State-aligned group in the Southern part of Philippines, Manila remains alert as the victory against the terrorism is probably not going to completely eliminate Islamic State’s ideology in Philippines. Regional security analysts have warned Philippine officials to remain on high alert in the aftermath of the siege and as fighters return home from the battlefields of Iraq and Syria. Attack could come from a “lone wolf” or someone who is inspired by the Islamic State propaganda. Southeastern Asian countries need to work together in order to prevent attacks and eradicate Islamic State’s ideologies.

11/7/2017 Philippines (Asia Times) – While one terror battle has ended, the next one looms in the shadows on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.

Five months after the Islamic State-aligned Maute Group laid destructive siege to the southern city of Marawi, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced on October 23 the end of government operations to liberate the city from the militants.

“The Philippine security forces, aided by its government and massive support of the Filipino people, have nipped the budding terrorism infrastructure and defeated terrorism in the Philippines,” he said.

At the same time, Lorenzana acknowledged that the tactical triumph in Marawi will not eliminate Islamic State’s ideology in the Philippines, and called for stronger regional cooperation to fight the rising threat the terror group poses to Southeast Asia as fighters return home from the battlefields of Iraq and Syria.

The call comes ahead of this week’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Manila, where global leaders will be in attendance. Security forces have amped up their vigilance against a possible Islamic State-inspired retaliatory attack on the global meeting.

Some 60,000 police, soldiers and other law enforcement operatives have been deployed to secure heads of states, including US President Donald Trump, along with some 3,000 delegates who will hold crucial meetings on politics, security and economics.

A day before President Rodrigo Duterte announced the liberation of Marawi, troops killed Isnilon Hapilon, Islamic State’s designated emir in Southeast Asia and leader of the local Abu Sayyaf militant group, and Omar Maute, one of the two Maute brothers who led the months-long siege.

Hapilon’s presumed deputy, Malaysian Mahmud Ahmad, and Omar’s militant brother, Abdullah Maute, are also believed to have been killed in the Marawi fighting.

Yet regional security analysts have warned Philippine security officials to remain on high alert in the aftermath of the siege, from which hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians are slowly starting to return from evacuation centers to their ruined lakeside city.

[Full Story]