Jump to content

In Philippines, reports of extremists pledging allegiance to IS sparks fear

Recommended Posts



ZAMBOANGA: Against the backdrop of a spate of terrorist attacks in Europe and Asia, there are now fears that extremists in the southern Philippines have banded together to pledge their allegiance to the terror group Islamic State (IS)

The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Abu Sayyaf were two of the biggest groups in the Philippines who recently announced they would join forces with IS.

"That period of the last quarter of 2013 and first quarter of 2014 - we have estimated that this was the period when several Philippine militant organisations like the Abu Sayyaf, the BIFF, the JIS embedded in Sulu and Zamboanga peninsula in central Mindanao started to prepare for the eventuality of taking their oath of allegiance,” said Rodolfo Mendoza, a terrorism expert at the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research.

A video released in November had purportedly showed the merger of four Philippine militant groups holding an IS flag and pledging their allegiance to the militant group.

Zulkifli bin Abdu l Hir, also known as Marwan, was a notorious but elusive member of Asia-wide terrorist group, Jemaah Islamiyah. He was reportedly among the four militants who were actively recruiting Filipino Muslims for IS.

Just a year ago, Marwan was killed in a botched operation led by the Philiipine police in Zamboanga. The operation also killed 44 Special Armed Forces soldiers.

Last year, there have also been several attacks by smaller rebel groups in the name of IS across Mindanao.

A former mayor of a town on the island of Basilan, western Mindanao, said there are reports of active recruitment in local mosques and schools. "They give guns, fee, and money. The fee is 30,000 to 50,000 (pesos) (US$630 to US$1,050) per person,” said the mayor, who did not want to be named.

So far, the Philippine government and the military has denied any presence of IS.

However, security analysts have warned that these movements should not be ignored, especially given the history of the Philippines.

The Sulu archipelago in Western Mindanao, which is a strategic bridge linking the Philippines, and Malaysia, used to be a training ground for foreign terrorists, including those who went on to become part of the September 11 and Bali bombings.

Said Maria Ressa, CEO of Rappler: "ISIS is grafting onto the same extremist networks, which Jemaah Islamiyah had in the past. Jemaah Islamiyah actually used the Philippines not just as a theatre of operations but largely as a training ground and Indonesia, which has the world largest Muslim population became the theatre of operations. We’re seeing the same thing being to take shape now."

According to Mr Mendoza, the main issue holding the extremist groups back from becoming official members and launching an IS caliphate in Southeast Asia is their disunity.  

- CNA/xq

Link to post
Share on other sites

This thing was bound to happen there... not good news. But, between the US and Philippine army, they be able to stomp it out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it's official now.


Islamic State recognizes Filipino militant groups  (February 16, 2016)


PETALING JAYA: The Islamic State (IS) has officially recognized pledges of allegiance from several militant groups based in the Philippines although it has yet to declare an official wilayat, or a caliphate province for the Philippines or the wider South-East Asian region.  


One of the southern Philippines groups recognised is that of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, according to a report from the American-based the Long War Journal (LWJ).  


The pledges, or bayat, were accepted in a video that was recently released by the IS’ Al Furat Media - a largely Russian-language media outlet, the report said.  


The video shows that the IS is officially recognizing that several groups have pledged allegiance to it and its leader.  







30,000 to 50,000 one time or per month?

It's possible that the writer of this story was mixed up on who made the statements on the recruiting. While it mentions an unnamed mayor in Basilan, the statements made by the Mayor of Cotabato City sound very similar in the story below. It is also mentioned in the article that recruits are being offered P20,000 or more, so the P30,000 - P50,000 could be correct, but they really do not need to offer that much. Many of the participants in the Zamboanga siege in 2013 were only paid P10,000 and handed a weapon to resist government troops in that city and that was just a one time deal. The amounts in the OP article seem too high for ongoing monthly compensation and may just be a one time offer. They can easily get hired hands for much less either way.


ISIS recruiting minors, out-of-school youth — Cotabato City mayor




This thing was bound to happen there... not good news. But, between the US and Philippine army, they be able to stomp it out.

The Philippine government has been proactive in dealing with these groups for quite some time now which is a good thing. Here are a few links to some stories for those who may be interested in some recent news from the region.


133 Abu Sayyaf killed, 164 wounded in Sulu in 2015, says AFP



Eight battalions being ranged against 200 Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf (February 2, 2016)



20 BIFF men killed in clashes (Feb 10th, 2016)



BIFF commander arrested, son killed (February 10, 2016)



Soldiers clash with MILF, not BIFF, in Maguindanao (February 11, 2016)


Edited by Tullioz
Link to post
Share on other sites
I <3 Cebu

This thing was bound to happen there... not good news. But, between the US and Philippine army, they be able to stomp it out.

Hopefully sooner rather than later

Link to post
Share on other sites

if they can be paid 10k for a suicide, maybe the gov could also pay them 20k to kill each other?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Didn't they pledge allegiance to Al Qaeda a few years ago? Come on guys, make-up your minds!


Soon they'll be supporting Trump....

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

if they can be paid 10k for a suicide, maybe the gov could also pay them 20k to kill each other?

Another thought, maybe the Govt. could pay them 10K to turn in the weapon, disallow their original pledge and move out of the area... Reduces the numbers, and recovers weapons... hmmm..... 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..


I Understand...