Sunday, November 22, 2015

TRUE LUMAD VOICE // Statements from KAHIMUNAN of IPs

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Nov 21): TRUE LUMAD VOICE // Statements from KAHIMUNAN of IPs

A Kahimunan is a multi-tribe gathering of the Lumad peoples. Enclosed are statements and agreements formed during the meet held last November 13-15, 2015, courtesy of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.

The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) is pleased to share with you the activity report from the Confederation of IP leaders of the Manobo, Mamanwa, and Mandaya of Surigao del Sur as regards their Kahimunan on November 13 and 14 in Surigao del Sur:

Shacene Pension House, Tandag City (DWDD)A Kahimunan of the Manobo, Mamanwa and Mandaya ICCs/IPs of Surigao del Sur was conducted on November 13 to 15 at the Shacene Pension House in Tandag City. It was participated by 59 IP leaders and 90 community members, including a group of Baylan.

The activity was spearheaded by the Indigenous Peoples Crisis Committee (IPCC) of the ICCs/IPs of Surigao del Sur with support facilitation from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples at the field, regional and central office levels.
The Kahimunan was convened to provide a venue for ICC/IP leaders to meet, discuss and agree amongst themselves the different issues and concerns currently being confronted by the ICCs/IPs of Surigao del Sur, specifically the evacuation of some IPs from the Municipalities of Lianga, San Agustin, Marihatag, San Miguel and Tago.

The activity started with a series of rituals in the late afternoon of November 13 thru early in the morning of November 14. Afterwhich, the Kahimunan proceeded with the identification of issues and concerns, discussions and recommendations thru workshops and an open forum in a plenary session.

Result of the workshop and plenary session was further processed by the IP leaders in an assessment meeting the following day, November 15 on which the following STATEMENT and OTHER AGREEMENTS were deliberated, drafted and agreed upon.
 A. STATEMENT OF THE IP CRISIS COMMITTEE REGARDING THE CRISIS OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN SURIGAO DEL The turmoil being experienced by the indigenous cultural communities / indigenous peoples (ICCs / IPs) started when large companies entered the ancestral domains and took advantage of the wealth found therein. However, this predicament was given a solution through IPRA, which provides that no program or investment by any company may be done without going through the process of free and prior informed consent (FPIC). At present, no company is allowed to initiate activities or programs without soliciting the consent of the ICCs / IPs.
It is but dismal to contemplate that despite the existence of the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (R.A. 8371), there are still groups and organizations like the CPP-NPA and its allied NGOs, party-list organizations, among others that continue to enter the territory of the ICCs / IPs without first securing the FPIC. Their refusal to acknowledge the rights and power of the ICCs / IPs to administer their ancestral domains has caused conflict, which is far more cruel compared to what the ICCs / IPs have experienced in the hands of private companies. After investigation on the matter, this is evidently the reason behind the present chaos and conflict among the ICCs / IPs.

Stand of IPCC Regarding Evacuees (Bakwit)

The evacuation of the ICCs / IPs last 2009 which happened again this 2015 almost have the same issue, initiated by the same group and participated by the same ICCs / IPs. It is just surprising that despite the peace being experienced by the ICCs / IPs, there are still several families who opted to join the evacuation (pagbakwit).
What is incomprehensible is why the group, claiming to defend the ICCs / IPs and who allegedly administers the affairs of the tribe inside the evacuation center, would not allow the leaders of the ICCs / IPs to speak to us. On several occasions, we were deprived of having the opportunity to speak with the Manobo ICCs / IPs who are inside the evacuation center.

             Because of these, we have made these stand:
  1. The IPCC would continue to support the ICCs / IPs inside the evacuation center since they belong to the indigenous peoples but the IPCC would not be able to help in deciding whether or not it is proper for them to return to their respective communities as this is their decision to make and considering that they give more weight to the command being given by the political groups or NGOs that initiated their evacuation;
  2. The IPCC calls the NGOs and political groups behind the evacuation to stop using the ICCs / IPs as milking cows. The current situation of the evacuees has made them vulnerable to being taken advantage of by the NGOs so that these groups would be able to continue to seek support and funds from overseas;
  3. The rift among ICCs / IPs inside the evacuation centers is apparent. Many of them are left confused considering that the NGOs, which support them, continue to injure their trust on their community and local government leaders;
  4. The NGOs and party-list groups’ meddling in the problems of the ICCs / IPs and these groups’ refusal to respect the tribes’ tradition are huge violations to the rights of the ICCs / IPs. There is a need to penalize them under customary laws (bonae) in order to prevent them from their continued destruction of the traditional ways of the ICCs / IPs in negotiation and collaboration;
  5. We strongly condemn the threats of the CPP-NPA against the ICCs / IPs, who wish to join the IPCC. Their savage way is the main reason why the ICCs / IPs have learned how to be vicious. Their armed struggle has brought many weaponries to the mountains. Their perennial war has brought the culture of combat in the mountains. 
Stand of IPCC Regarding Lumad Killings

Over the past 10 years, more than three hundred lumads have been killed by the CPP-NPA. On the otherhand, lumads have also been killed due to military operations.

The killings of the ICCs / IPs have been a big issue that is being used by the CPP-NPA as anchor on their war against the government. The ancestral domains, which used to be peaceful, has become a combat area between the CPP-NPA and military. The ICCs / IPs, who were once fearful of hostilities, have become combatants considering that they were flooded with propaganda by the CPP-NPA.

The ICCs / IPs do not have the intention to engage in any battle against any group. It is the lumad’s culture to compromise so that peace may flow. There is a system of mediation and penalty inside the tribe. Settling disputes through non-violent means is part of the tribe’s customs. However, all these have faded away and have been destroyed because of CPP-NPA’s claim that war is the only solution. The peaceful tradition of the ICCs / IPs was destroyed because of the brutality being propagated by the CPP-NPA.

Because of these, we have made these stand:           
  1. Justice should be given to all lumads who were killed due to the armed revolution of the CPP-NPA. The fact that the ICCs / IPs have now become combatants is the doing of the CPP-NPA. In fact, this is apparent based on their statements and propaganda that several places have become guerilla fronts or guerilla bases. They did this without due regard on whether or not this would destroy the way of life and tradition of the ICCs / IPs, specifically in Surigao del Sur;
  2. It is our hope that the local government units, religious sectors, people from the Civil Society Organizations and other groups who call themselves as human rights advocates would see and realize that the victims are not only those in the evacuation centers. The victims are actually the entire Manobo and Mamanwa tribes, who every now and then are being frightened, threatened, and forced to evacuate because their homes have become venues of warfare. However, instead of being fair, those who head the province, municipality, religious sectors and NGOs have opted to join the leftist groups in defending the fault of the CPP-NPA;
  3. An independent group or commission should be created, which function is to investigate the real plight of the ICCs / IPs. The root of the chaos and the death of the lumads can only be traced back to the existence of the CPP-NPA inside the ancestral domains;
  4. The CPP-NPA should be evicted from the ancestral domains and must be penalized because of the huge devastation that they have made to the tribes. How they trampled the tradition, their destruction of the beliefs of the ICCs / IPs’ youth and children, the rift they caused among the tribe, how they have chosen leaders to use as their puppets all the while condemning those who do not adhere to their wants, and their continued dominance inside the ancestral domains have brought destructions much more than the mining industry that has denuded and demolished the forest. Mining has destroyed the environment but the CPP-NPA abolished the core of the tribe.
Call to the Government
  1. Closing of schools inside the ancestral domains, which teaches war as a means to change the situation. The education they impart is of no value if its only intent is to generate rage and aggressiveness among the students so that they become combatants. The education they impart is of no value if it results to the annihilation of culture, customs and traditions of the ICCs / IPs;
  2. Enforce projects that would help the tribe flourish such as education, health, farm-to-market roads, livelihood projects, and support so that the genuine leader of the tribe would rise;
  3. The government officials should lead in ensuring that the ancestral domains is free from the exploits of the CPP-NPA. They should instead focus on realizing their obligations in defending the people and developing their livelihood.
  1. Request for the IPCC to lead the evacues (bakwit) back to their respective homes
There were two women representatives from the evacuees currently housed in Tandag Gymnasium who attended the IPCC assessment of the Kahimunan in the morning of Sunday, November 15, 2015.

They requested the IPCC to lead the return of the evacuees to their ancestral domain. However, the IPCC decided not to shepherd them out from the gymnasium because of the perception that this is just a ploy of the CNN. The IPCC believes that the women were sent intentionally to lure them rescue the IPs from the gymnasium. But, once in their ancestral domain, the NPA will do the corresponding harassment, even kill them and blame the same to the AFP/government and with the IPCC being dragged as a conduit of the AFP/goverrnment.

The IPCC believes that the evacuees can freely return to their homes even without the IPCC leading them.
  1. IPCC decision on the three(3)-month ultimatum thru a statement in the declaration of a pangayaw/magahat by Datu Joel Unad during the Congressional Hearing called by the Committee on Indigenous Cultural Communities
The IPCC respects the statement, or a Call for Pangayaw/Magahat by Datu Joel Unad for a three (3)-month ultimatum. The IPCC will somehow do its part to resolve the conflict in Lianga within the three (3)-month period.
  1. On family conflict resolution initiative
An IP leader from Lianga who is also a family of the slain IPs in Lianga has also committed to help by initiating internal conflict resolution within the family. It is expected that the conflict will be resolved before the three (3)-month deadline on February 12, 2016.

The Office of Empowerment & Human Rights (OEHR) and the Office on Policy, Planning and Research (OPPR) of NCIP will follow through the above cited initiatives.
[Statement by the IPCC in the original Bisaya Version]
Ang kagubot sa mga komunidad sa lumad nagsugod sa dihang misulod ang mga dagkung kompanya nga mipahimulos sa mga bahandi sa sulod sa yutang kabilin sa mga tribu. Apan pinaagi sa IPRA, nahimoan kini og kasulbaran sanglit dili naman mahimo nga makasulod ang bisan unsa pa man nga mga programa ug investment sa bisan kinsa pa man nga kompanya nga dili mosubay sa mga proseso sa pagtugot sa tribu. Karon wala nay kompanya nga mahimong magpasiugda og mga kalihukan o mga programa nga dili mosanghid o dili mokuha sa pagtugot sa tribu.

Subo lang palandungon nga taliwala sa pagtunhay sa Indigenous People’s Rights Act, aduna pa gihapoy mga grupo ug mga organisasyon sama sa CPP-NPA ug ang mga kauban niini nga mga NGOs, Party-list organizations, ug uban pa nga padayon nga misulod sa mga teritoryo sa tribu nga walay pagkuha sa pagtugot sa tribu. Ang ilang pagdumili sa pag-ila sa katungod sa tribu ug sa gahum niini sa pagdumala sa yutang kabilin nahimong pabilo usab nga mipatumaw og usa ka matang sa kagubot nga mas bangis pa kompara sa nahimong kasinatian sa mga tribu atubangan sa mga pribadong kompanya. Sa among pagsusi ug sa among pagpamalandong, kini ang nagpaluyong hinungdan sa mitumaw nga mga kagubot sa tribung komunidad karong panahona.

Baruganan sa IPCC Mahitungod sa Bakwit

Ang pagpamakwit sa mga tribung komunidad niadtong 2009 ug karong 2015 halos pareho lang ang isyu, pareho lang ang grupo nga nagpasiugda, ug pareho usab ang mga komunidad nga nagbakwit. Ang katingad-an lang kay bisan ang mga komunidad nga walay kagubot nga nahitabo, aduna usab pipila ka mga pamilya ang miuban gihapon sa pagbakwit.

Ang dili lang namo masabtan kay ang mga grupo nga kunohay nanalipod sa mga tribu og maoy nagdumala sa tribu sa sulod sa mga evacuation center dili man mosugot o motugot nga maistorya sa mga lider sa tribu ang mga namakwit. Sa makadaghang higayon, gihikawan kami nga maistorya ang mga lumad Manobo nga anaa sa evacuation center.

Tungod niini, nahimo namo ang mosunod nga baruganan:
  1. Ang IPCC padayon nga magsuporta sa mga tribu nga anaa sa evacuation center sanglit tribu man sila, apan dili makatabang ang IPCC sa pagdesisyon kon angayan na ba nga mamauli sila sa ilang tagsa-tagsa ka lugar sanglit ila man kining desisyon, ug mas labaw man nila nga ginasunod ang mando sa mga grupo o NGOs nga nagpasiugda sa ilang pagbakwit.
  2. Nanawagan ang IPCC sa mga NGOs ug pulitikanhong pundok nga   nagpaluyo sa bakwit nga ihunong na nila ang paggamit sa tribu isip gatasan. Ang kahimtang sa bakwit nahimong kahigayonan nga gipahimuslan sa mga NGOs alang sa ilang padayon nga pagpangalap og suportang pundo gikan sa gawas sa nasud.
  3. Klaro ang pagkabahin-bahin sa panghuna-huna sa mga lumad nga anaa sa evacuation centers. Daghan kanila ang naglibog na pag-ayo sanglit padayon man nga ginadaut sa mga NGOs nga nagsuporta kanila ang ilang pagsalig sa mga lider sa tribu sa ilang komunidad ug lungsod.
  4. Ang pag-apil-apil sa mga NGOs, party-list sa problema sa tribu ug ang ilang pagdumili sa pagrespeto sa tradisyon sa tribu usa ka dakung kalapasan sa katungod sa tribung komunidad. Kinahanglan nga i-bonae sila aron mahunong na ang ilang pag-guba sa traditional nga mga pamaagi sa mga tribung komunidad sa pagsabot-sabot ug pagtinabangay.
  5. Hugtanon namo nga gi-kondena ang paghulga sa CPP-NPA ngadto sa mga lumad nga buot mopailalom sa payong sa IPCC. Ang ilang bangis nga mga pamaagi maoy hinungdan nga nakat-on ang mga lumad sa kabangis. Ang ilang armadong pakigbisog maoy nagdala og daghang armas sa kabukiran. Ang ilang malungtarong giyera nahimong kultura sa giyera diha sa kabukiran.
Baruganan sa IPCC Mahitungod sa Pagpamatay sa mga Lumad

Sa milabay nga 10 ka tuig, kapin sa tulo ka gatos nga mga lumad ang gipatay sa CPP-NPA. Samtang aduna usab mga lumad ang namatay tungod sa mga operations sa kasundalohan sa Gobyerno.

Ang kamatay sa mga tribung komunidad nahimong daku nga isyu tungod sa padayon nga pag-gamit sa CPP-NPA sa mga yutang kabilin sa tribu isip panukaran sa ilang pakig-gubat sa gobyerno. Ang yutang kabilin nga kanhi malinawon, nahimong nataran sa mga giyera ug engkwentrong militar. Ang kanhi mahadlukon sa kagubot nga mga tribung komunidad, nahimong manggugubat sanglit gihubog man sila sa mga propaganda ug pasalig sa CPP-NPA.

Ang katawhang lumad walay intension nga makig-gyera batok sa bisan kinsa nga grupo. Tradisyon sa tribu ang pakigsabot aron motunhay ang kalinaw. Sa sulod sa tribu, anaay sistema sa paghusay ug pagsilot. Sa batasan sa tribu, ang tanang problema sulbaron sa malinawon nga paagi. Apan kining tanan naguba ug nahanaw tungod kay giyera ang gitudlo kanamo sa CPP-NPA nga mao kuno’y bugtong solusyon. Naguba ang malinawong tradisyon tungod kay kabangis man ang gipakaylap sa CPP-NPA.

Tungod niini, nakahimo kami niining mosunod nga baruganan:
  1. Ipatumaw ang hustisya alang sa tanang gipatay ug namatay tungod sa armadong rebolusyon sa CPP-NPA. Ang pagkahimo sa mga tribung komunidad nga panggubatan binuhatan sa CPP-NPA. Gani makita kini diha sa ilang mga pamahayag ug propaganda nga ang maong lugar usa ka guerilla front o guerilla base. Gihimo nila kini sa walay pagpamalandong kung dili ba kini makaguba sa kahimtang ug tradisyon sa mga tribu sa Surigao del Sur.
  2. Ang local nga mga panggamhanan, ang kasimbahanan, ang mga ginatawag nga Civil Society Groups, ug ang tanang grupo nga nagtawag sa ilang kaugalingon nga human rights advocates makita ug maamgohan unta nila nga ang mga biktima dili lang ang naa sa mga evacuation centers. Ang biktima maong tibuok tribung Manobo ug Mamanwa nga sa matag karon ug unya mahadlok, mahasi, mamakwit sanglit ang ilang kaugalingong pinuy-anan nahimo naman nga nataran sa pakig-gubat. Apan imbis mahimong patas ang mga nangulo sa probinsya, sa lungsod, sa simbahan ug sa mga NGOs, miuban naman hinoon sila sa mga leftist nga grupo aron panalipdan ang sala sa CPP-NPA.
  3. Ilunsad ang usa ka independent nga grupo o commission nga maoy magtuki ug mag-imbestiga sa kahimtang sa mga tribung komunidad. Ang pabilo sa kagubot ug kamatay sa mga lumad walay lain kung dili ang armadong pakigbisog sa CPP-NPA nga diha nanukad sa yutang kabilin sa tribu.
  4. Papahawaon ug i-bonae ang CPP-NPA tungod sa grabeng kadaut sa tribu nga ilang nahimo. Ang ilang pagyatak sa tradition, ang ilang pag-guba sa panghuna-huna sa mga bata ug kabatan-onan, ang ilang pagbahin-bahin sa tribu, ang ilang pagpili og mga lider nga himoon nilang itoy samtang gikondena nila ang dili motuman kanila, ug ang ilang padayon nga paghari sa sulod sa yutang kabilin labaw pa sa kadaut sa mga minahan nga miupaw ug mibungkag sa kabukiran. Ang mga minahan miguba sa kinaiyahan. Apan ang CPP-NPA, miguba sa diwa sa tribu.
Panawagan Ngadto sa Gobyerno
  1. Ipasira ang mga iskwelahan sa sulod sa yutang kabilin nga nagtudlo sa giyera isip pamaagi sa pag-usab sa kahimtang. Walay pulos ang edukasyon kung ang tuyo lamang niini nga magbaton og kapungot ug kabangis ang mga istudyante aron mahimo silang manggugubat. Walay pulos ang edukasyon kung moresulta kini sa pagguba sa batasan ug kultura sa tribu.
  2. Ipatuman ang mga proyekto nga mopalambo sa mga tribung komunidad sama sa edukasyon, panglawas, farm-to-market roads, mga programang panginabuhian, ug suporta alang sa pagbarug sa tinuod nga mga lider sa tribu.
  3. Sa mga local nga mga government officials, manguna unta sila sa pagseguro nga ang yutang kabilin gawasnon gikan sa CPP-NPA. Imbis nga makig-alyado sila sa CPP-NPA, unahon unta nila ang paghatag og katumanan sa ilang mga obligasyon diha sa pagpanalipod sa katawhan ug pagpalambo sa ilang panginabuhian.

More soldiers to be deployed in Sulu, Basilan

From Malaya Business Insight (Nov 23): More soldiers to be deployed in Sulu, Basilan

PRESIDENT Aquino’s recent order for an intensified campaign against the Abu Sayyaf means deployment of more soldiers in Sulu and Basilan where the bandit group is operating, a military source said yesterday.
“With the President’s order, it is expected that there will be more forces to be deployed (in Abu Sayyaf areas). This may include additional troops…There might also be a shifting (of strategy),” the source said without elaborating.
The order was issued after the beheading of a Malaysian hostage in Sulu last week while Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit hosted by Manila. Razak said the beheading was a “savage and barbaric act” and called on Philippine authorities to take action.

AFP spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla said the military leadership is confident that Maj. Gen. Mayoraldo dela Cruz, new chief of the AFP Western Mindanao Command, would come out with “good results” in the renewed campaign against Abu Sayyaf group.
Padilla said AFP chief Gen. Hernando Iriberri was in Zamboanga City last Saturday to preside over the assumption of Dela Cruz as the new Wesmincom chief, replacing Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero who is retiring on Tuesday, and to “personally convey to the ground commanders the specific instruction of the President.”

Dela Cruz, a classmate of Iriberri at the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983, was last assigned as commander of the Light Armor Division in Tarlac. He also served as chief of staff of the division, and commanded the 1st Mechanized Brigade that battled forces of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and other threat groups in Maguindanao in 2012.

The Abu Sayyaf beheaded Bernard Then in Indanan, Sulu on Tuesday last week after his family reportedly failed to pay ransom. Then was kidnapped from a resort in Sabah, Malaysia last May together with another Malaysian, Thien Nyuk Fun. The two were then brought to the Abu Sayyaf’s bailiwick in Sulu. Fun was released last November 9 reportedly after paying ransom.

MILF: “Passage of BBL would redound to the benefit of all peoples of Mindanao”: Lacierda

Posted to the MILF Website (Nov 23): “Passage of BBL would redound to the benefit of all peoples of Mindanao”: Lacierda

“Passage of BBL would redound to the benefit of all peoples of Mindanao”: Lacierda

In an on line news posted today at the website of Philippine Star, it quoted Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda saying that “the passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) would redound to the benefit of all the peoples of Mindanao and, in general, to the people of the Philippines”. 

Lacierda told DZBB yesterday that, “MalacaƱang is hopeful that lawmakers will heed Senate President Franklin Drilon’s appeal for them to attend sessions and pass the draft BBL, which might get sidetracked for lack of a quorum in Congress.

 “We certainly would hope to see the passage of the BBL. It has been debated in the committee level; it has been discussed in public; all angles have been addressed. So it’s time for the legislators who will pass the law to buckle down. We request them to take a hard look at the BBL”, Philstar said in its report.

A priority measure of the Aquino administration, the BBL aims to form a new Bangsamoro political entity with enhanced autonomy. The new entity will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, one of the poorest regions in the country. However, the poor attendance at the House of Representatives is obstructing its passage.(Source: Philstar)

Military warns of risk in Spratlys sea protest

From the Manila Times (Nov 22): Military warns of risk in Spratlys sea protest

WHILE welcoming a plan of youth volunteers to go on a 30-day voyage to the Kalayaan Island Group in the disputed Spratlys in the South China Sea, military, as well as defense, officials over the weekend warned participants of the risk or danger it may posed owing to the “treacherous” sea.

Members of the group calling itself Kalayaan, Atin ito (Kalayaan, This is Ours) have bared plans to leave mainland Palawan on November 30 and stay on the island group until December 30 this year as a form of peaceful protest to show China, and the whole world, that Filipinos are united in asserting their country’s territorial rights.

“Personally, I am not in favor of that… we endanger unnecessarily the lives of the participants, they will be [taking] unnecessary risk. They do not know how treacherous the sea condition is right now. If they will do that, they are ill-advised,” said Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez, the chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Command (Westcom).

Lopez warned that the voyage is not like the Manila-Corregidor run.

“This group or whoever the organizers are [taking] so much risk and endangering the lives of these people,” he pointed out.

One of the organizers, retired Capt. Nicanor Faeldon, a former member of the Philippine Marines, earlier said the youth group composed mostly of college students from 81 provinces nationwide will begin the 30-day protest from Bonifacio Day(November 30) to Rizal Day (December 30).

He said at least 10,000 young people had volunteered to go to Palawan and stage the protest to support the country in asserting its sovereign rights to the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

“We hoped that after the 30 days of peaceful protest at the [island group] by this youth group supported by the entire population, we will gain the admiration and earned help from the rest of the world,” Faeldon added.

Col. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, hailed the group for its patriotic commitment. “Hindi naman bawal yun kaya nga kami morally, sabi namin [It is not prohibited that is why we are saying morally] we are very thankful they are showing their patriotic fervor and their civic mindedness it goes to show na madami pa ring kabataan na nagmamalasakit [That many youths are showing concern] And publicly we are telling them we are proud of you. We are happy with your expression of your patriotic fervor, and we are glad we have so many [young people] who are like this, so morally we support them but materially I’m not aware kung meron tayong commitment ([f we have commitment],” Padilla said.

Director Arsenio Andolong of the Public Affairs Service of the Department of National Defense said he sees nothing wrong with the plan because anyone can travel to islands within the Philippine territory for “as long as they follow safety regulations and observe proper procedures in terms of coordinating with concerned authorities and local governments.”

Air Force chopper rescues mountaineer

From Tempo (Nov 21): Air Force chopper rescues mountaineer

Philippine Air Force (PAF) men used a helicopter to rescue a mountaineer who fell into a 200-foot ravine while hiking with 100 fellow mountaineers to Mount Sicapu, Solsona town, last Thursday.

Major Randy Atis, the pilot in command of the PAF rescuers, said the victim, Nelson Roquero, 26, of Rosario, Cavite, was safely rescued and rushed to a hospital in Laoag City for treatment of body injuries.

Solsona town Mayor Jonathan de Lara said Roquero was one of the 108 hikers who went to Mount Sicapu last Wednesday afternoon.

The victim is now in stable condition at Governor Roque Ablan Memorial Hospital in Laoag City.

USA guilty of 'political provocation' in S China Sea: China

From The News Telegraph (Nov 22): USA guilty of 'political provocation' in S China Sea: China

In his intervention at the ASEAN Plenary, Aquino said stability in the region has come under threat by the massive reclamation activities in the disputed Spratly islands.

Reacting to Abe, Wong Hei, China's foreign ministry spokesperson, said, "China will be vigilant against Japan's interference in the South China Sea issue, its military return to the South China Sea in particular".

Beijing continues to insist that there is no problem with freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

China sharply objected to the patrol, calling it an "illegal" incursion into its waters and urged the refrain from taking a provocative steps.

With the waterway a crucial trade passage, he said freedom of navigation and peace and security of the area are crucial to China's economic expansion.

Asia-Pacific leaders opened a final summit Sunday with attention expected to swing back to the maritime standoff in the South China Sea, closing a marathon week of diplomacy largely overshadowed by the recent jihadist attacks.

"It has been 13 years since the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea forged our collective commitment to address disputes peacefully and with good will. We should not wait any longer to establish the Code of Conduct and reinforce, without ambiguity or reservation, our political will with respect to the issue", Aquino said.

On Wednesday in Manila, US President Barack Obama made the same call for China to stop its land reclamation. "We believe it does", the President said. "We stress the importance of resolving disputes through peaceful means, in accordance with global laws including UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)".

Beijing's buildup has created tension between China and several of its neighbors, including the Philippines and Vietnam.

The South China Sea quarrel comes after similar tensions during the APEC summit in Manila, which took place just before the ASEAN summit. While attending the APEC event in the Philippines, U.S. President Obama toured the Philippine Navy's flagship BRP Gregorio del Pilar - another show of support over regional naval disputes.

 Kuala Lumpur is also playing host to a number of other meetings this weekend.

At a separate news conference, Obama said the issue was a "key topic" at the summit of 18 countries that included China, as well as at a separate summit he had with leaders of 10 Southeast Asian countries.

Countries with large populations of Muslims, including Russia, should unite to fight Islamic State, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, after Islamist militants killed 19 people, including six Russians, in an attack on a luxury hotel in Mali.

"In practice, we have virtually eliminated tariff barriers between us", said Najib, the summit host.

Clash erupts in Maguindanao after Misuari supporters block road project

From the Philippine Star (Nov 23): Clash erupts in Maguindanao after Misuari supporters block road project

The Sultan Mastura municipal peace and order council is now trying to resolve the incident.

Soldiers on Sunday gunned down a follower of fugitive Nur Misuari and wounded five others for disrupting a road concreting project in Sultan Mastura town in Maguindanao.

The hostilities erupted when the group of Commander Kamlon of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) opened fire on soldiers escorting construction workers to the project site in Barangay Bungabong near the southern coast of Sultan Mastura.

Kamlon and his men belong to an MNLF faction known for its loyalty to the group’s founder, Misuari, now wanted for leading a bloody revolt in Zamboanga City in September 2013.

Kamlon’s group is opposed to the implementation of a multi-million road project designed to connect their enclaves to trading centers in nearby barangays.

In contrast with the attitude of Kamlon and his men, forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Sultan Mastura supports the ongoing construction of costly arterial road networks meant to hasten the socioeconomic development of local peasant communities.

Geared for combat, Kamlon and his men on Sunday first barred construction workers from getting close to the project site and even forced them to leave.

The workers returned with a team of soldiers from the 37th Infantry Battalion, which the recalcitrant MNLF men engaged in a firefight.

The soldiers and Kamlon’s group fought a running firefight that lasted for more than five hours, according to barangay officials.

Two soldiers were wounded in the ensuing encounter, which waned only when Kamlon and his followers ran out of ammunition and scampered away.

There are talks circulating purporting that Kamlon’s group was asking for “protection money” from the contractor of the road project in exchange for the free movement of workers at the site.

The Sultan Mastura municipal peace and order council is now trying to resolve the incident peacefully to ensure the completion of the road project.

Search under way for Then’s body

From The Star Online (Nov 23): Search under way for Then’s body

KOTA KINABALU: The search is still on for the body of beheaded Malaysian hostage Bernard Then Ted Fen, whose severed head was found in a gunny sack dumped in Jolo town on Tuesday.

The 39-year-old engineer’s body is believed to have been buried in the Indanan province of the island of Jolo, which is a known stronghold of the Al Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.

Jolo police chief Major Junpikar Sitin said the authorities were continuing the search for the place where Then’s body was buried.

Then was killed on Nov 17.
It was learnt that the Philippines military is also carrying out operations to locate the burial site.

Malaysians officials are also in Zamboanga City to meet the Filipino counterparts in efforts to positively identify whether the severed head is that of Then, through DNA tests.

If positive, Malaysia would request for the head to be brought back home as the search for the body was expected to take some time.

The Philippines’ police and armed forces believe that Then’s remains was buried in Barangay Tanan of the Indanan province.

The Abu Sayyaf terrorists beheaded Then after they gave a week’s grace for the Filipino-Malaysian negotiators to come up with more ransom money for his release.

A sweeper at Marina Street, Barangay Wall City in Jolo found the severed head.

Then was abducted by gunmen together with Sandakan’s Ocean King Seafood restaurant manager Thien Nyuk Fun, 50, on May 14.

Thien was released on Nov 8 but the terrorists refused to let Then go and demanded more money to be paid within a week.

ISIS' global ambitions and plans for Southeast Asia

From Rappler (Nov 21): ISIS' global ambitions and plans for Southeast Asia (by Maria A. Ressa)

This war goes beyond armies, police and security forces. It demands greater transparency and cooperation between communities at a global scale.

On Monday, November 16, when 17 world leaders began to arrive for the APEC Summit in Manila, a video of men in masks with ISIS’ black flag behind them is posted on Facebook, claiming "ISIS in Mindanao" will attack the summit.

Authorities dismissed it, but by evening, it had reached nearly 2 million views.

Col Resty Padilla, spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, asked the public to ignore it and avoid sharing it.

“There’s no threat,” he told journalists. “So far, the monitoring indicates that there are no serious threats that will hamper the conduct – successful, peaceful and secure conduct of this summit.”

PREPARATIONS. The PNP prepares on November 14 for worst-case scenario in APEC Summit. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler
PREPARATIONS. The PNP prepares on November 14 for worst-case scenario in APEC Summit. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler
Still, authorities are on high alert, and intelligence sources say they are investigating the video, released just a little more than 2 days after 3 teams of suicide bombers and gunmen across 6 locations in Paris killed at least 129 people and injured at least 329 more.

The near simultaneous attacks, reminiscent of Mumbai in 2008 when 10 armed gunmen attacked 7 different locations, shocked the world. Much like 9/11, it seems to signal an escalation in jihadist terrorism that has its roots in the virulent ideology that powers al-Qaeda and its latest incarnation, ISIS.

An al-Qaeda offshoot that has overtaken its parent, ISIS, also known as the Islamic State or IS, ISIL, and Da’esch, a loose Arabic acronym, seems bent on taking the world back to the 12th century. It has a fundamentalist interpretation of the Koran that includes savage beheadings, rapes, and public executions designed to eliminate “unbelievers” in a process it calls takfir, or excommunication.

Key to its power is something al-Qaeda was never able to do: it captured and governs land roughly the size of Great Britain. That is the capital of the global caliphate it says it is creating – acting like a beacon and bringing in at least 30,000 foreign fighters in a little more than 3-and-a-half years, according to latest US and UN estimates.

Despite its economic focus, terrorism and security issues are among the main topics to be tackled at APEC this week in Manila.

There are 4 lessons Paris teaches us, which Philippine authorities should keep in mind as it hosts 17 world leaders this week.

1. It’s war. And it’s global.

Within hours of the Friday attacks, France’s President Francois Hollande called them “an act of war waged by a terrorist army, a jihadist army, by Da’esch, against France.” Except war began decades ago. And it’s escalating.

The US, leading a coalition of 65 countries, jumped in more than a year ago to try to defeat ISIS and its offshoots.

On the sidelines of APEC, US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken told me ISIS now controls "30-35% less territory than a year ago" but that action comes with risks. (Watch the Blinken interview here)

"We saw that if this problem was not arrested as quickly as possible, it was likely to spread," said Blinken. "And indeed ISIL had ambitions to attack not just in the region but in Europe and the United States and places beyond. We understood from the beginning that it was part of their larger objective."

Paris brings the war to coalition countries where they live, a logical extension of an ideology that matured in the conflict in Afghanistan in the late 80s.

That gave rise to al-Qaeda, and ISIS is its latest incarnation.

“Al-Qaeda is a kindergarten group compared to ISIS,” Rohan Gunaratna, the author of Inside Al-Qaeda and the head of Singapore’s International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism, told Rappler. “ISIS presents an unprecedented global threat. ISIS is a hyper-powered organization. We have not seen a group of the scale and magnitude of ISIS.”

ISIS began its march to capture Baghdad on June 9, 2014, and it has grown tremendously since then: capturing oil fields for resources; creating and implementing laws it implements for the land under its control; and harnessing affiliates for global attacks.

Shortly after the Paris attacks, former FBI agent and author Ali Soufan summarized the escalating death toll and pace. He tweeted that in the last 36 hours, there were 18 victims in Baghdad, 43 dead in Beirut, and 153 in Paris – “all murdered by the same narrative of takfir and terror.” (Takfir, which sanctions violence against Muslim leaders who are kafir or are unbelievers).

Ali H. Soufan @Ali_H_Soufan 
In the past 36 hours: : 18 victims : 43 victims : 153 victims All murdered by the same narrative of takfir & terror.

On November 13, a suicide bomber killed himself and at least 17 others at a Baghdad memorial service for a Shiite militia member who died fighting ISIS.

In Beirut, Lebanon, two suicide bombers killed at least 43 people during rush hour at a busy shopping district in a mostly Shiite residential area. The body of a third suicide bomber was found near one of the blast sites with a largely intact explosives belt. ISIS claimed responsibility for that fiery attack.

EVACUATED. Wounded people are evacuated outside the scene of a hostage situation at the Bataclan theatre in Paris, France, November 14, 2015. Photo by Yoan Valat/EPA
EVACUATED. Wounded people are evacuated outside the scene of a hostage situation at the Bataclan theatre in Paris, France, November 14, 2015. Photo by Yoan Valat/EPA

This is the second time in two weeks that ISIS claimed attacks against civilians, its effort to get back at the countries fighting it in Syria and Iraq.

ISIS’ Egyptian affiliate said it was responsible for the Oct. 31 destruction of a plane full of Russians coming home from vacation at the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. Why Russians? Because Moscow intervened in Syria.

On Tuesday, Nov. 17, Russia announced for the first time that a bomb destroyed the plane.

Now add Paris.

France is one of the founding members of the US-led coalition that began airstrikes against ISIS. These attacks come after the brutal Charlie Hebdo murders early this year carried out by gunmen claiming allegiance to ISIS and an al-Qaeda affiliate.

Still, it isn’t just ISIS attacking. This war is in full swing and escalating.

Last week, the United States and its allies announced it had sharply increased airstrikes against ISIS’ oil fields in Syria, making it perhaps the wealthiest terrorist organization globally. The US Treasury Department estimates the oil fields ISIS controls generates about $40 million a month or nearly $500,000,000 a year.

A day before the Paris attacks, Kurdish and Yazidi forces, backed by US special forces and airstrikes, liberated the strategic Iraqi city of Sinjar - cutting a supply route between its Iraqi stronghold in Mosul and its capital, Raqqa, Syria.

At nearly the same time, the US announced a drone strike seemed to have killed one of ISIS’ best-known militants, Mohammed Emwazi, the British executioner better known as Jihadi John.

That same Friday, President Barack Obama told ABC News that “we have contained them” referring to ISIS.

That symbolic victory lasted only a few hours.

Yet as the Paris attacks were happening, the US was broadening its fight against ISIS in Libya, targeting and allegedly killing its senior leader Abu Nabil. He was an Iraqi national who led al-Qaeda operations from 2004 to 2010.

By Tuesday, France and Russia had intensified bombing operations against ISIS.

2. Southeast Asia is a key recruitment center for ISIS.

As of mid-2015, more than 500 Indonesians, including women & children, and more than 50 from Malaysia have joined ISIS, according to regional intelligence officials.

There are enough Indonesian and Malaysian fighters that they are in an ISIS unit by themselves, the Katibah Nusantara (Malay Archipelago Combat Unity).

“ISIS posted a propaganda and recruitment video showing Malay-speaking children training with weapons in ISIS-held territory,” Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said mid-year.

“Two Malaysians, including a 20 year old, were identified in another ISIS video of a beheading of a Syrian man. The Malaysian police have arrested more people who were planning to go, including armed forces personnel, plus groups which were plotting attacks in Malaysia,” added Lee. These individuals were going to Syria and Iraq not just to fight, but to bring their families there, including young children, to live in what they imagine, delusionally, is an ideal Islamic state under a caliph of the faithful.”

Indonesian Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, which in the late 90’s to mid-2000s acted as al-Qaeda’s arm in Southeast Asia, pledged allegiance to ISIS last year.

ISIS said it wants to establish a wilayat – a province under its caliphate – in Southeast Asia. While some will dismiss it as far-fetched, that’s its stated goal.

(READ: Q&A: ISIS in Southeast Asia)

3. ISIS' ideology is in the Philippines.

Be careful of names. Follow the ideology.

Follow the virus. Because like a virus, the ideology creeps in beneath the surface and takes over the system until it hits a tipping point. Lessons from epidemiology give us a paradigm for ISIS’ strategy: infect until it takes over the system.

Filipino and US security forces and authorities say ISIS doesn’t exist in the Philippines because they look for direct operational links to Syria and Iraq. Still, as early as 2011 al-Qaeda’s black flag, appeared in the Philippines behind a Filipino speaking fluent Arabic asking to bring the jihad to Mindanao.

Filipinos carry the black flag in the southern Philippines
Filipinos carry the black flag in the southern Philippines

That flag has become ISIS’ banner, originally brought to Syria and Iraq by foreign fighters, but over the last year and a half, it has become a rallying symbol.

(READ: 14 years after 9/11 in Southeast Asia)

As early as 2012, I reported that authorities found the black flag in an Abu Sayyaf camp in Zamboanga. Interestingly, the man arrested then, Khair Mundos, who links the Abu Sayyaf to a global network, was sentenced to prison Monday, November 16, 2015.

The flag is only a symbol of groups of Filipinos who believe in the ideology that powers al-Qaeda and ISIS. In my latest book published at the 10th anniversary of the Bali bombings, I talked about a jihadi virus that uses religion as a vehicle for political power. That goal of setting up a caliphate hasn’t changed, and based on their own statements, they want to expand it beyond Syria and Iraq.

Last year, a senior leader of the Abu Sayyaf as well as another charismatic leader of an offshoot, the Rajah Solaiman Movement (RSM), pledged an oath to ISIS, something dismissed by most Filipino security officers.

US and western authorities have long talked about attacks by lone wolves, where all it takes is one man to turn his gun on a crowd. These attacks have happened in the US, Europe and other parts of the world.

Now Paris brings the spectre of potential central coordination from ISIS.

While the attacks were still playing out in Paris, President Hollande said, “This act of war was prepared and planned from the outside, with accomplices inside.”

It’s a new development that shouldn’t have been unexpected, turning what analysts called “lone wolves” into satellite forces capable of being synchronized for larger attacks.

“The emphasis on lone wolves was all part of the wishful thinking that ISIS was purely a local phenomena that could be contained to Syria and Iraq,” said Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown.

That threat of small yet effective terror cells loosely directed by ISIS blasts through many existing counter-terrorism measures.

With this, we can look at the Facebook video released in the Philippines Monday, November 17, as intent. The next question is do they have the capability? Security forces say no, but what exactly does capability mean now in the age of ISIS?

4. ISIS is a master at social media.

ISIS posts more than 200,000 pieces of content on social media every day, and it’s been successful in radicalizing marginalized and disenfranchised youth around the world.

"Social media is a critical front in this because the narrative that ISIL projects, it uses social media to project that narrative," Blinken told Rappler.

A study released early this year said there are a minimum of 46,000 Twitter accounts used by ISIS, according to Intelwire’s J.M. Berger, who did the study commissioned by Google and published by the Bookings Institute.

ISIS aims to disrupt, carve out young minds and voices and offer a paradise that doesn’t exist. It has enticed young women, some as young as 15 years old, to join the jihad in Syria.

(READ: How to fight ISIS on social media)

One of ISIS’ key supporters and propagandists, Melbourne-born Musa Cerantonio, lived in Manila, Cebu and Zamboanga for more than a year and was tweeting incitement and support to help ISIS.

A study mid-year said Cerantonio was one of the two most influential voices giving ‘inspiration and guidance” to foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq. It added that one in 4 foreign fighters followed Cerantonio’s Twitter, account and that more than 92% of his tweets involved interaction. His Facebook page was the 3rd most popular among foreign jihadists.

To fight the pull of the ideology amplified and given wider reach by social media, countries and civic society must work together.

(READ: How to fight ISIS? Build communities)

This war, as it always has, goes beyond armies, police and security forces. This war demands greater transparency and cooperation between communities at a global scale with these key goals: to reject sectarian strife; separate terrorists from Islam; address grievances, including political and economic ones, that lead to marginalization; give the youth opportunities; and, avoid “us” and “them” by building inclusive communities.

That is the challenge ahead.


4 things you need to know about ISIS in Indonesia

From Rappler (Nov 23): 4 things you need to know about ISIS in Indonesia (by Maria A. Ressa)

The threat posed by ISIS in Southeast Asia is comparatively small, but real, and it has the potential to become larger if not addressed properly. ISIS reinvigorated existing terror networks in the region.

It’s been a thought-provoking week for governments around the world in analyzing and crafting an ISIS response.

ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, IS, ISIL and Da’esch, a loose Arabic acronym, is the latest incarnation of a virulent ideology behind al-Qaeda, forged in the crucible of a proxy war in Afghanistan in the late 80s.

Except this al-Qaeda offshoot is far more successful than its parent ever was, capturing land roughly the size of Great Britain and holding that as a beacon for all who want to create an Islamic caliphate around the world. Perhaps the wealthiest terrorist organization globally, ISIS is partly powered by oil fields it seized that bring in up to $40 million a month, according to US Treasury estimates.

Last Friday, November 20, a noise barrage commemorated the one-week anniversary of the Paris attacks on November 13, which killed 130 people. Claimed by ISIS, armed gunmen and suicide bombers in 6 different places in Paris escalated the war, signaling the possibility of ISIS central coordination for what the West dismissed as lone wolf attacks.

“France will play an enhanced role in international efforts to stabilize conflict zones from Syria, Iraq, Libya and other Middle Eastern and African conflict arenas,” Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorist Research in Singapore, told Rappler.

On Tuesday, November 17, Russia announced that a bomb brought down its passenger jet over Egypt last month, killing all 224 people on board, an attack also claimed by ISIS. That was followed shortly after by another attack, also claimed by ISIS, in a busy market place in Beirut, Lebanon that killed 43.

In retaliation, Russia and France, along with the US-led alliance, pounded ISIS territory with airstrikes last week. From leaders’ summits around the world - the G-20 in Turkey, APEC in the Philippines, ASEAN in Malaysia - world leaders called for unity and collective action.

“We strongly condemn all acts, methods, and practices of terrorism in all their forms and manifestations,” said 21 APEC leaders in a declaration on Thursday, November 19. “We will not allow terrorism to threaten the fundamental values that underpin our free and open economies.”

“ISIL is the face of evil,” said US President Barack Obama a few days earlier in Turkey. “Our goal is to degrade and ultimately destroy this barbaric organization.”

Threat in the region is real

Why should Southeast Asia care?

The threat posed by ISIS in Southeast Asia is comparatively small, but real, and it has the potential to become larger if not addressed properly. It’s clear that ISIS reinvigorated existing terror networks in the region.

 [Read: ISIS’ global ambitions and plans for Southeast Asia]

“We are ever vigilant against a threat that is very real in our region,” said Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak to open the ASEAN summit on November 21. “Local militants and groups such as Abu Sayyaf have sworn allegiance to the so-called Islamic State. It was they who cruelly murdered our countryman Bernard Then on Tuesday” – referring to the beheading of a Malaysian hostage in the Philippines last week.

“A military solution alone will not be enough to defeat those who want to cause war,” Najib added. “It is the ideology propagated by these extremists that is the cause of this sadistic violence. We must not lose sight of the fact that the ideology itself must be exposed as the lie that it is, and vanquished for it is not Islamic. It cannot be.”

An estimated 600 to 800 Southeast Asians, including women and children, have traveled to Iraq and Syria, and the first wave has already returned home to Malaysia and Indonesia.

"Southeast Asia is a key recruitment center for ISIS," said Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last May.

The center is Indonesia, the world’s 3rd largest democracy with more than 250 million people, the lynchpin of Southeast Asia. It also has the world’s largest Muslim population and has suffered the deadliest terrorist attacks in the region since the Bali bombings in 2002. They were carried out by Jemaah Islamiyah and its offshoot groups, homegrown terrorists with funding, training and inspiration from al-Qaeda. Its latest incarnation is ISIS.

Here are 4 things you need to know about ISIS in Indonesia.

1. Don't look at the names. Look at the ideology.

Estimates say at least 500 to 700 Indonesians have joined ISIS – including women and children – with the higher numbers coming from the Indonesian National Counterterrorism Agency, known by its Indonesian acronym, BNPT.

By August, 2014, there were enough Indonesians and Malaysians to form a company of Bahasa-speaking fighters in ISIS, Katibah Nusantara.

Like 9/11 in the West, the Bali bombings in 2002 exposed the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror network, largely led by Indonesians and which carried out attacks in Indonesia. That was the beginning of the end, and authorities broke up the network – by killing or arresting the central leadership. Still, the ideology continued to spread in a myriad of splinter groups with an alphabet soup of names.

A JI splinter beheaded three Christian schoolgirls in 2006 to try to provoke a new round of sectarian violence. Although that failed, this group evolved into the Mujihideen Indonesia Timur (MIT), perhaps the most lethal of JI offshoots. Its leader, Santoso, pledged loyalty to ISIS in 2014 and may, perhaps, have the most direct links to Syria.

JI’s spiritual leader and co-founder, Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, broke off and founded another group, Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid or JAT. From prison, he pledged loyalty to ISIS, and in mid-2014, JAT protested, carrying ISIS flags.

The first Indonesian jihadist to die in Syria, for example, went to school in the notorious Pondok Ngruki, founded by Ba’asyir, the school of many of the Bali 2002 bombers.

At least 16 out of 26 of the 2002 Bali bombers either attended or were associated with one of the three JI-linked schools: Al-Mukmin in Pondok Ngruki, Lukmanul Hakim in Malaysia, and Al-Islam in East Java. Association with Lukmanul Hakim “increases the probability by more than 23% that a jihadi will play a major role in an attack.”

This is how the ideology spreads in the physical world, through family and friends. Like a medical contagion, it is like a virus that spreads under the surface until it hits a tipping point and takes over a community.

“They work underground even though we hit them hard,” Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told me in 2011 for my book, From Bin Laden to Facebook.
“They have the capability to consolidate, to reorganize, and try to find the opportunity to strike us again. There are many smaller organizations. There are many branches that developed, but actually the mainstream remains. Al-Qaeda is the big brother.”

The names may change, but the social networks and virulent ideology remain the same and continue to evolve, supercharged with the advent of smartphones and social media.

The spread of the ideology, what I called the jihadi virus, is limited in the physical world, but think of social media as your family and friends without limitations of time and space: it's your physical social network on steroids.

2. ISIS is a master at social media and is now moving to chat apps.

Indonesians sympathetic to ISIS are active on social media, helping broaden the base and speeding up radicalization and recruitment. While some have clear ties to the old JI network, others have no ties at all. ISIS is reaching new demographics.

ISIS central may well be the most skilled organization to use social media for propaganda and radicalization. Its slick video and consistent messaging splintered for different cultures is aimed to capture the interest of marginalized and disenfranchised youth.

Authorities around the world have identified 4 phases of radicalization: agitation – playing on personal vulnerabilities like poverty, trauma, injustice leading to hopelessness and fear; self-identification – peer pressure, group-0think or the urge to belong, gratification; indoctrination – capacity-building, personal assurance; and, violent extremism – action, sacrifice and personal fulfillment.

Through each step of this conversion funnel, the potential recruit becomes increasingly isolated from their families, loosening the bonds that maintain them in society. When those bonds are torn, it’s easy to join ISIS.

There are corresponding steps on social media’s conversion funnel as well, but it nearly always leads to face-to-face recruitment.

[Read: How to fight ISIS on social media]

By mid-2015, however, the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, IPAC, wrote that there was a decline in the use of Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter among Indonesian jihadists. For security reasons, many were switching to WhatsApp, Telegram and Zello.

Outside Indonesia, ISIS is now aggressively hijacking hashtags to work around the more aggressive blocking of Twitter.

[Read: Twitter Terror: How ISIS is using hashtags for propaganda]

The goal is simple: spread the message as far and wide as you can. Once hooked, bring them in to more intimate conversations on encrypted platforms and devices.

3. More women and online marriages for ISIS in Indonesia

Globally, ISIS’ appeal is reaching not just men but more women than in the past. Women have always played a role in the radicalization process, but social media is leveling the playing field.

Marriages have long cemented alliances among jihadi networks, and women played key roles in Jemaah Islamiyah’s plots, from translators to accomplices, but technology is increasing the pace and frequency of women’s involvement as well as a new practice of online marriages.

Indonesian women, drawn to the idea of raising their children in an Islamic state, are joining their husbands and enticing others to come to Syria. Like Siti Khadijah, who began posting about her family’s hijrah, or migration, to Syria. She described “her furnished apartment, monthly stipend, free schooling and healthcare,” triggering questions on her Facebook page from other Indonesians wanting to know how they could go to Syria.

The Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict also points out there are increasing number of extremist couples, including prisoners and fighters in Syria, who meet on Facebook, get to know each other online, and marry by cell phone video. Like 25-year-old Najma, a domestic worker in Hong Kong, who married Abu Arianto by phone. They first met in person after they were married when Abu Arianto came to Hong Kong on his way to Syria. She joined him in Syria a few months later, pregnant with his child. Unfortunately, he was killed weeks after her arrival.

4. Lone wolf attacks in Indonesia?

Social network analysis, which can also be used to untangle the ties that bind on social media, is the framework I used to analyze the physical social networks that powered Indonesia’s terrorist attacks.

After Bali, Jemaah Islamiyah’s centralized command structure collapsed, and its operational capabilities were degraded after enough hubs in the networks were killed or captured. Essentially, its top and middle rank leaders were gouged out, damaging each network’s ability to carry out sophisticated large-scale operations.

Still, isolated nodes and cells from the old networks remained and continued to spread the ideology – bringing in new recruits in a more haphazard, decentralized pattern.
By 2010 and 2011, smaller, more ad-hoc, less professional cells carried out attacks without central coordination.

Many of these attacks, like a suicide bomber blowing himself up in a police station in 2011 or two terrorists stopping in the middle of the night and killing a lone policeman at a police station, could qualify as lone wolf attacks – although IPAC says there have only been two unsuccessful ones since 2006.

Authorities admit lone wolf attacks are nearly impossible to predict and prevent.