Asia - Pacific

MILF leader: No proof Daesh active in Philippines

'No clear evidence Daesh already in our place, because we don’t see any foreign personality there,' he tells Anadolu Agency

02.12.2015
MILF leader: No proof Daesh active in Philippines

By Ilker Girit and Satuk Bugra Kutlugun

ISTANBUL

 Almost one week after Philippine forces engaged in a bloody shootout with a group claiming Daesh links, the chairman of the country's one-time largest rebel group has underlined that there is still no proof that the violent terrorist outfit has infiltrated local communities.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency this week, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim said that there was “no clear evidence yet that Daesh is already in our place, because we don’t see any foreign personality in there.”

Although Middle Eastern in origin, the group relies on a swarm of sympathizers from foreign shores -- many of whom have travelled through neighboring countries to sign up in its destructive campaign of terror. 

While acknowledging that some radical elements in southern Mindanao Island may be inspired by Daesh, Ebrahim insisted there was “not direct contact” with the group.

"We have seen that there are some radical elements in Moro who are sometimes being inspired by ISIS [Daesh], but, I think these have not [had] direct contact with Daesh or ISIS."

He emphasized the MILF’s efforts to counter radicalism by talking to people in the Moro community about the threat posed by Daesh.

On Sunday, the Philippines’ military revealed that seven people who had recently been killed alongside an Indonesian bomb-maker in a clash with marines belong to a new radical group in the Muslim south.

GMA News quoted Capt. Joan Petinglay, spokesperson for the 6th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Central, as saying that Daesh flags had been found in the Ansar al-Khalifa Philippines (Supporters of the Caliphate of the Philippines) encampment where Thursday’s clash broke out in Sultan Kudarat province.

Last year, two militant groups in the south – the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf -- pledged allegiance to Daesh, prompting fears that the group could make inroads in a region torn apart by decades of armed conflict.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
Related topics
Bu haberi paylaşın