- - Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The outer islands of the Philippines have long been hotbeds for insurgencies, especially the communist type. Back in the days of the American installations of Clark Air Base and Subic Bay, the island of Mindanao was always talked about in terms of communist rebellion and training of fighters. Now it seems the isolated areas could become popular for the training and recruitment of ISIS fighters as well, the new scourge of the modern age.

“Currently, IS is moving towards creating a territory in the southern Philippines. The most recent communication issued by IS has announced that they have formally declared an East Asia division of IS in the southern Philippines,” Singaporean counter-terrorism analyst Rohan Gunaratna said at a security conference in Singapore. “Our forecast for 2017 is that the threat in this region will grow because of the creation of an IS nucleus in the southern Philippines,” reported Newsweek.

Singapore’s Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, said the southern majority-Muslim region of Mindanao was “becoming an area that is difficult to control despite the best efforts of the Philippine government.” The region could serve as a “sanctuary for returning fighters from the Middle East,” he warned.

In addition to killing drug dealers, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared war on the Islamic insurgency brewing in Mindanao, particularly the group calling themselves Aby Sayyaf. The ISIS-linked militants recently beheaded a German national who had been held captive for some time. The group is located in the Sulu region of Mindanao.

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