After months of buildup, which included pledges of loyalty from various local groups, the Islamic State has officially created a province in the Philippines. A newly released video from the region, which was produced in the same style as all other Islamic State provinces, offered confirmation of the new province.
The video begins by showing several “battalions” of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. This includes the Abu Dujana Battalion, Abu Khubaib Battalion, Jundallah Battalion, and the Abu Sadr Battalion. These battalions joined others from ASG, including Jund al Tawhid, Ansar al Sharia, and Marakah al Ansar in pledging bayah to the Islamic State. Additionally, some of ASG’s leadership, including overall leader Isnilon Hapilon (who is shown in the video), have pledged to the jihadist group.
Hapilon, a US-designated terrorist, was again confirmed as the leader of all of the Islamic State’s forces in the Philippines. In an April issue of the Islamic State’s weekly newsletter Al Naba, the jihadist group said that Hapilon, also known as Abu Abdullah al Filipini, had been appointed as emir. In a portion of the video featuring a Filipino fighter in Raqqah, Syria, he confirms the Al Naba report.
Hapilon is the senior most figure to have defected to the Islamic State in the Philippines. The video also confirms that a formal leadership structure for the Islamic State has indeed been put into place, exemplifying its expansion in the country. This was also seen earlier this month in an infographic released by the ‘Amaq News Agency, one of the jihadist group’s news outlets. The infographic included several important facts from the Islamic State in the Philippines, including the number of groups that have pledged allegiance and where they operate. (See Threat Matrix report, Islamic State details activity in the Philippines.)
While the infographic contains numbers from April 2015, it also notes the first official announcement of Filipino jihadist groups pledging allegiance to the Islamic State occurred in January 2016. Videos and reports of groups pledging bayah have emerged since 2014, shortly after Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, claimed the creation of a caliphate. The video in January, however, was the first time the Islamic State publicly accepted these pledges. A month later, the Islamic State’s Furat media outlet released another video showing more groups pledging allegiance.
These groups include the aforementioned battalions of ASG, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Ansar Khilafah in the Philippines, the Islamic State in Lanao, Jamaat al Tawhid wal Jihad (a group formerly loyal to al Qaeda), and parts of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Their claimed areas of operation largely correspond with the reported areas of the aforementioned groups. This includes the southern areas of Basilan, South Cotabato, Sulu, Sarangani, Lanao del Sur, and the northern province of Isabela.
Several of these groups, including Ansar Khilafah, the Islamic State in Lanao, and the Jamaat al Tawhid wal Jihad (JTJ) have publicized training camps in the region. Ansar Khilafah was the first to do so last December, while the latter two groups did so last month and in March, respectively. A video from JTJ’s training camp, the “Osama bin Laden training camp,” also publicized its loyalty to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.
Recently an ISIS video was created that called for new ISIS fighters to ”come to Philippines,” if they could not get to Syria.
The official government is not taking all this seriously enough, considering the beheadings going on there.
They (the gov’t) think these fighters can easily be identified and killed.
Odd, because, they (the gov’t) are, for one reason or another, not doing anything like that.
And the people know it.
Further proof that ISIS has been contained.
This isn’t surprising, particularly within the counterterrorism and SOF communities. The Islamic separatist movements in the Philippines to Indonesia are quite resilient. They ebb and flow in popular support and in their ability to operate. More recently, they’ve relied on the kidnap-ransom business to stay relevant and support their continuing presence. Like their counterparts in the ME and the Magrab (North Africa), they look for the strongest dog to ally themselves. It was AQ for awhile, now it’s ISIS.
Obama has a completely different interpretation of “contained” than I do. Must be part of that revisionist gene in Democrats that makes them redefine the classical meaning of words into new incoherent ones. I think he want’s to further contain them by bringing ISIS to the U.S..
Beware of false religions like ISIS
ever seen a region or city after isis has over run it? rape pillage and burn is the standard plan of operation. outside of the major cities in the Philippines there is nothing but poor villages.
the matrix of globalization has reduced poor countries to even poorer and has removed or destroyed cultural pasts that were often tied to economic trading. contrary to the muslin belief, the lost cultural, especially regional trading and grown, will never reoccur
yes but one must always consider two islands in the chain of island in the southwest. the fool is too stupid to know how to play Go.
That is why when conversing with one, it is best to translate to what they really mean. They say “climate change”, you say “manmade global warming”. They say “immigration”, you say “illegal immigration”. They say “undocumented aliens”, you say “undocumented Democrats”. They say “gun control”, you say “getting rid of the Second Amendment”. They say “raise taxes on the rich”, you say “wealth re-distribution and Marxism”. They say “liberal”, you say “Marxist or socialist” and ditto (no pun intended) for when they say, “Democrat”.
@another vet #7 –
And, who said the Universal Translator on Star Trek is all sci-fi? 🙂
Have a good Sunday afternoon and evening.
Sometimes I wonder if we had those special sunglasses that Roddy Piper had, if we’d see aliens when looking at the globalists. Also, the plot line to ‘V’ was amazingly similar to what is going on now in this country where people just buy the leftist meme hook, line, and sinker without question.
You do the same.
the real enemy is this country is obamanism. he, jarrett, hilary and the left has created a one party media – liken to HIV it hides in the body to later destroy it. America is at war with the jihad-left axis pitted against the west. obamanism is equal to jihad+hard left. never forget the the fool is a muslin terrorist.
@another vet: What about, ” I never had sex with that woman”?