Thursday, October 2, 2014

Military warns IS influence to complicate peace efforts

From the Philippine Star (Oct 2): Military warns IS influence to complicate peace efforts

The military warned today that the terrorist Islamic State (IS) could "radicalize" local extremist groups and may further complicate the efforts of the government to forge a lasting peace in southern Philippines.

This was despite the geographical distance of the IS group, which is based in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Syria, Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala said in a forum.

"The Abu Sayyaf Group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) may mutate into larger, more coordinated and sophisticated terrorist organizations," he said.

Kakilala believes that these two factions may "jointly" or " separately" regroup and launch fresh new offensives to government-held positions and civilian populations in Mindanao and across the country.

He also warned that the Jemaah Islamiyah ties with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), the combatant group of the BIFM, may be revived if Ameril Umbra Kato, BIFF leader, deemed it necessary to increase its leverage in Central Mindanao.

The BIFM-BIFF broke away with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the largest Muslim rebel group in the country, because it is against the peace deal with the Philippine government.

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