A closer look at recent developments in a number of countries should dispel any illusions that the Islamic State’s aspirations and activities are only regional.
Filipino force defied UN commander in Golan crisis
Syrian army, Al Nusrah Front fight on Golan where peacekeepers held
Fiji seeks release of UN peacekeepers abducted on Syrian side of Golan Heights, as Philippines soldiers escape
The US Embassy warned Americans to avoid travel to Sulu and the Mindanao archipelago due to the activities of al Qaeda-linked groups such as Abu Sayyaf. Reports have emerged that elements of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Abu Sayyaf, including wanted leader Isnilon Hapilon, have sworn allegiance to the Islamic State. Wanted Abu […]
Security forces arrested two Abu Sayyaf militants, including alleged sub-leader Nur Hassan a.k.a. Jemhar Halillula Ali, during raids in Zamboanga city. A public school supervisor who was kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf in January was released after payment of a ransom.
Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) militants conducted simultaneous attacks against security forces in Datu Piang in Maguindanao. Authorities looked into reports that a German couple kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf may be captive on a southern island. Captured Abu Sayyaf commander Khair Mundos has told authorities that he met last year in Maguindanao with Marwan a.k.a. […]
A group of Abu Sayyaf fighters led by Idang Susukan and Sibih Pisih ambushed two buses in Talipao in Sulu that were carrying 50 people celebrating Eid al-Fitr, killing at least 16, most of them women. The Western Mindanao counterterrorism force said the 10 policemen escorting the civilians were probably the real targets of the […]
Militants from the Bangsamo Islamic Liberation Front attacked security forces in two towns in Maguindanao province yesterday, killing one soldier and wounding two others; 17 militants were killed in the clash, including a close aide to BIFF leader Ameril Ombra Kato. The BIFF disputed the army’s report. Army operations are continuing in the area.
Islamic extremist Musa Cerantonio ‘different’ to other prisoners
Australian extremist cleric Musa Cerantonio was arrested in Cebu with a female companion, several days after he had boasted that he had arrived in Syria to support the Islamic State. The Philippines military said it is checking to see if the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters is receiving financial support from the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah.
Musa Cerantonio claimed he arrived in Syria on July 3, but he was recently arrested in Cebu.
Zulkifli bin Hir, a most-wanted terrorist linked to Jemaah Islamiyah, Abu Sayyaf, and the KMM who was reported killed in 2012, is operating in the southern Philippines.
Abdul Basit Usman was rumored to have been killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan, Pakistan in 2010. He has since been spotted in the Philippines.
Abdel Basit Usman, a bombmaker and wanted member of the Philippines-based, al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf Group, was recently spotted during a raid on a Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters camp on Mindanao; Philippines press reports had claimed he was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan in January 2010. Basit is said to be building bombs […]
During a daylong battle in Basilan that began as an attempt to capture Abu Sayyaf commander Puruji Indama, three Islamist rebels and two soldiers were killed, and 29 soldiers were wounded. Abu Sayyaf is also suspected in the kidnapping of two people in Malaysia on April 2. Security forces killed two members of an Abu […]
The government has signed a peace agreement with a Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the country’s largest Muslim rebel group, giving greater autonomy to Muslim areas of Mindanao, to be called Bangsamoro, in exchange for the MILF’s surrender of its weapons. The accord, reached after the loss of 120,000 lives in 40 years of conflict, and […]
Philippines and Rebels Agree on Peace Accord to End Insurgency
Government troops killed 17 Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in an offensive in Mindanao against the group, which has been trying to undermine the peace deal between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The clash started yesterday when authorities attempted to arrest 25 BIFF members suspected of kidnapping and murder.
The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed the final part of the Annex on Normalization, a 2012 peace plan, setting the stage for an agreement that allows the rebels to establish an autonomous state of Bangsamoro on the island of Mindanao in exchange for decommissioning their weapons. Jun Jalal Akilan, a.k.a. Temeng, an […]
Philippines, Muslim rebels hope to sign pact soon
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The government signed a peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, under which the group gives up its goal of an independent state in exchange for power and wealth-sharing in a new autonomous region. Two days earlier, MILF rebels attacked a police station in Marawi City, taking the police chief hostage, killing a civilian, […]
Defense Secretary Gazmin claimed victory over the rebels in Zamboanga, but acknowledged that Habier Malik, the commander of the Moro National Liberation Front group that stormed the Mindanao port city three weeks ago, is still unaccounted for. The military said 18 soldiers, five police, and 12 civilians had been killed. Officials reported 375 rebels as […]
Some 100 Moro National Liberation Front rebels who launched an assault on Zamboanga over a week ago are still holding hostages; at least 116 hostages have been rescued. A senior police commander briefly taken hostage by a small group of rebels trying to surrender was freed. The military said that 12 troops have been killed […]
The military claimed to have recaptured 70 percent of the territory seized by 200 militants from the Moro National Liberation Front and to have killed 51 militants, but about 100 militants are still holding some 100 hostages. As the standoff enters its second week, 82,000 people have been displaced and 850 houses have been destroyed […]
Rebel Rifts on Island Confound Philippines
Defense Secretary Gazmin said there is no ceasefire between the government and Moro National Liberation Front rebels in an ongoing standoff in Mindanao in which 53 people, including 43 militants, have been killed, some 62,000 people have been displaced, and at least 100 people are being held hostage. Clashes also continued on Basilan, where one […]
The standoff between security forces and Moro National Liberation Front rebels in Zamboanga city in Mindanao entered its fourth day, and the death toll is said to have risen to 12. About 150 suspected Islamist rebels attacked a predominantly village near Lamitan, in the neighboring province of Basilan; three soldiers were injured as the military […]
Moro National Liberation Front rebels are still holding 180 hostages and have seized up to 37 more as the standoff in Mindanao between security forces and the militant Islamist group enters its third day. Some 13,000 residents have been evacuated, and the government claims the situation has been “contained,” but clashes continue; several people have […]