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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

4 JIHADIST CAMPS FOR ISIS RECUITS IN FORESTED REGIONS OF MINADANAO


NOVEMBER 30 -Clearing operation. Marines secure the alleged ISIS-influenced camp that they captured last week after killing at least eight jihadists in a firefight in the area. Mark Navales
-FOREIGN jihadists linked to the Islamic State have established four training camps in the forested ridges of Mindanao to train Filipino militants who are being recruited as fighters for the terrorist group, a government source privy to anti-terror operations told The Standard Sunday. The training camps are located in Sarangani, Cararao in Lanao province, Barangay Tanum in Patikul, Sulu, and Palembang in Sultan Kudarat, where student recruits are being trained for military operations. On Saturday, the Palace said there was “no credible threat” to the Philippines from foreign jihadists. The recruitment of young fighters, mostly students, surfaced following the death of 22-year-old Datu Mongakang Dilangalen, nephew of former Maguindanao representative Digs Dilangalen on Friday in Palembang, Sultan Kudarat.The young Dilangalen was with 50 militants led by the Indonesian terrorist Ibrahim Ali Sucipto who engaged security forces in a four-hour gun battle on the outskirts of Palembang town. Sucipto and seven others were killed in the firefight. “That’s how we knew there was an ongoing recruitment operation,” said Capt. Joan Petinglay, spokeswoman of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division. The Dilangalen family identified Mongakang—known as Mongs—from a photo of the bodies of the slain militants, but refused to accept that he was a member of the terrorist group Ansar Khilafa Philippines. READ MORE...RELATED, Palace reiterates: No credible ISIS threat in Philippines...

ALSO: Palace dismisses reported ISIS threats in PH


NOVEMBER 28 -COLOMA Malacañang on Saturday dispelled reports that there are terror threats from international terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the country, particularly in Mindanao. Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said intelligence reports from both the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police (PNP) confirmed that there are no ISIS-related threats to the country. “Marami lang nababalita at mga ulat hinggil sa mga banta na binabanggit ang pangalan ng ISIS pero batay sa pagsusuri ng ating AFP at PNP, wala namang batayan para kumpirmahin yang mga haka-haka o spekulasyon hinggil diyan [There are a lot of reports on ISIS threats but based on the intelligence report gathered by the AFP and the PNP, there is no basis to confirm such rumors or speculations],” Coloma said. He said that based on the intelligence report gathered by the PNP, “there is no credible terrorist threat directly linked to the ISIS.”  “Validation of information gathered thus far has produced no basis to confirm that report. The intelligence community continues to monitor threats to ensure proper response from the security forces,” Coloma said. As for the AFP, Coloma said the Armed Forces confirmed that there is “no credible and verified foreign terrorist threat established in our country and this is the reason we need not duly raise our alert level.” READ MORE...RELATED,  ARMM gov denies recruitment of Mindanao students into Isis (October 2015 report)...

ALSO: AFP to deploy more troops in Mindanao to fight ASG - Gazmin


DECEMBER 1 -Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) would be sending more troops, including members of the elite Light Reaction Battalion (LRB), to Mindanao tooperateagainst enemies of the state, particularly the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group in Western Mindanao. Informed sources said that at least a battalion of Army troops and a company from the elite LRB are being eyed to augment the present military troops operating in Mindanao. “The sending of additional troops is now being discussed, including the sending of a Light Reaction Company. We are looking at one infantry battalion and a company from the LRB,” a ranking official said. The LRC is among the elite AFP units trained and equipped by the United States primarily to counter terrorism. Another official said that the deployment of augmentation forces to Mindanao, particularly at the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom), was meant to ensure relentless operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group.  “We need more troops to sustain the momentum,” the official said. The sources said that the additional troops would come from Luzon. Earlier, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin has said that more military forces will be added to boost the fight against the Abu Sayyaf, in compliance to the directive of President Aquino to intensify further the ongoing operations against the terrorist group. “Our fight against the Abu Sayyaf is continuing, our operations are ongoing. We will be adding forces to stop their banditry,” said Gazmin. READ MORE...

ALSO: 2 Iraqis spotted near clash site


DECEMBER 1-TWO Iraqi nationals whose mission in the country remained unknown were spotted in Central Mindanao but the military on Monday said the Ansar Khilafa Philippines that government troops were pursuing relentlessly had no direct links to the Islamic State and were known cattle rustlers. The two Iraqis, an intelligence source said, were spotted by agents monitoring terrorist activities in the area where an Indonesian jihadist and seven others were killed in a firefight with Marines on Nov. 27 on the outskirts of Palembang town in Sultan Kudarat.
“They [2 Iraqis] were seen adjacent to Palembang town last November 23 but could not be located their present location,” said the source. The reported presence of the two Iraqis brings to 12 the number of suspected foreign terrorists in the country days before the bloody encounter with the AKP. The foreigners include three Syrians, spotted somewhere at the Cararao Complex in Lanao province, five Malaysians in Sulu and two Indonesians. Capt. Joan Petinglay, spokesperson of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said ground troops have launched massive search and destroy operations against the AKP, particularly its leader Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, who had a standing warrant for his arrest. But Petinglay described the AKP as a “criminal group” with a record of cattle rustling. “So far, we do not have evidence to say that they are linked to ISIS or that they are a terrorist group,” Petinglay said in a phone interview. On Thursday, eight men, including Indonesian jihadist Sucipto Ibrahim Ali, were killed in a clash with the military and police who were out to serve arrest warrants against Mohammad Jaafar Sabiwang Maguid, alias Commander Tokboy, the alleged leader of the AKP who was able to escape. READ MORE...

ALSO AFP: Indonesian bomb maker among 8 killed in SK clash


NOVEMBER 29 -The Philippines’ military confirmed Saturday that an Indonesian national believed to be an expert bomb-maker was among eight suspected members of a Daesh-linked group killed in a clash earlier this week. The 6th Infantry Division’s commander identified the suspect as Ibrahim Ali, a senior member of the Mujahideen Indonesian Timur, or the East Indonesia Mujahideen, which has taken responsibility for the killing of several Indonesian police officers and is believed to have many foreign members.By Roy Ramos ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines The military on Saturday confirmed that one of the eight ISIS supporters killed in clash with marines on Thursday in Sultan Kudarat was an Indonesian national, said to be an expert bomb maker. Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, identified the Indonesian as Ibrahim Ali, alias Hudzaifa, a senior member of the Mujahideen Indonesian Timur (MIT) and has been training Muslim rebels on bomb making in Palimbang town, Sultan Kudarat province. Pangilinan said Ibrahim Ali was first arrested in Zamboanga City for illegal possession of firearms in 2005 but was released from detention in 2013 because the case filed against him was weak. Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat, 1st Marine Brigade commander, said in a separate statement that Ali was killed in a dawn encounter with soldiers of the 6th Marine Battalion Landing Team Thursday in the village of Butril, Palimbang town , Sultan Kudarat. Seven other ISIS supporters were killed in the almost four-hour gunbattle.Salamat said that marines and police investigators of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and local policemen came to Butril village to serve warrants of arrest on Mohammad Jaafar Sabiwang Maguid alias Commander Tokboy when they were met by gunfire which triggered a running gunbattle. When the firefight stopped, eight bodies were found scattered in an encampment, including that of Ibrahim Ali. READ MORE...

ALSO: Why PH should worry about ISIS threat - Professor Banlaoi


NOVEMBER 15 -Prof. Rommel Banlaoi delivering his presentation on Evolving Threat of Terrorism in Asia. FROM SECURITYMATTERS.COM.PH
MANILA - The Philippines has to raise its alarm against terror threats following the deadly attacks in Paris, a security analyst said on Sunday. Professor Rommel Banlaoi said the Philippine government as well as all citizens should be wary of the threats emanating from the terrorist organization ISIS, considering its presence in the country and its spreading global acts. “We should not be complacent about the threat posed by ISIS because right now, we monitored at least six self-proclaimed ISIS followers in the Philippines. And if you will review all the videos of the Abu Sayyaf Group, they are displaying the black flag of ISIS, so they are bandwagoning on the popularity, the global popularity of ISIS now,” he said. The ISIS claimed responsibility over the bombings and shootings on Friday night which resulted in over a hundred of deaths in Paris. Banlaoi described the attacks as a major blow not only against France but against all democratic states such as the United States, Germany and Great Britain. He said that the Philippines must also be cautious of ISIS' aggressive recruitment, especially with the presence of social media. “Right now ISIS is very aggressive in recruiting followers through social media mechanism. They are very active in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and they don’t need to send actual organizers to go to the Philippines. They just need to access the Internet and start recruiting people from the Internet, particularly those younger ones," Banlaoi said. READ MORE...WATCH VIDEO INTERVIEW...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

4 jihadist camps for ISIS recruits


Clearing operation. Marines secure the alleged ISIS-influenced camp that they captured last week after killing at least eight jihadists in a firefight in the area. Mark Navales

MANILA, december 7, 2015 (MANILA STANDARD) posted November 30, 2015 at 12:01 am by Francisco Tuyay -FOREIGN jihadists linked to the Islamic State have established four training camps in the forested ridges of Mindanao to train Filipino militants who are being recruited as fighters for the terrorist group, a government source privy to anti-terror operations told The Standard Sunday.

The training camps are located in Sarangani, Cararao in Lanao province, Barangay Tanum in Patikul, Sulu, and Palembang in Sultan Kudarat, where student recruits are being trained for military operations.

On Saturday, the Palace said there was “no credible threat” to the Philippines from foreign jihadists.

The recruitment of young fighters, mostly students, surfaced following the death of 22-year-old Datu Mongakang Dilangalen, nephew of former Maguindanao representative Digs Dilangalen on Friday in Palembang, Sultan Kudarat.

The young Dilangalen was with 50 militants led by the Indonesian terrorist Ibrahim Ali Sucipto who engaged security forces in a four-hour gun battle on the outskirts of Palembang town. Sucipto and seven others were killed in the firefight.

“That’s how we knew there was an ongoing recruitment operation,” said Capt. Joan Petinglay, spokeswoman of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division.

The Dilangalen family identified Mongakang—known as Mongs—from a photo of the bodies of the slain militants, but refused to accept that he was a member of the terrorist group Ansar Khilafa Philippines.

READ MORE...

The three other slain members of the AKP, according to the military, were Abdul Hali, Tatuh Sumail and Kira Sabiwang, all residents of Palembang town. It was still unknown where AKP leader Mohammad Jaafar Maguid was.

Bai Princess Dilangalen Piang Abdulrakman said they knew that Mongs was leaving for General Santos City last June.

The outskirts of General Santos City and its border with Sarangani serves as the operational base of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter leader Basit Usman, who was also instrumental in the formation of Ansar Khilafa Sarangani, which later became the AKP.

The intelligence source said the training camp in Sultan Kudarat was adjacent to the area where Sucipto was killed.

“The Cararao complex in Lanao has long been established as training ground by the Jemaah Islamiya through the partnership of AKP self-proclaimed leader Mohammad Jaafar Maguid and Sucipto,” the source said.


Close watch. An Indonesian jihadist lies dead in an ISIS camp that Marines secured last week after killing him and at least seven other jihadists. Mark Navales

The Sarangani camp, the source said, was being used as a staging ground for kidnapping operations against potential targets by the Tanum Group, composed of Abu Sayyaf bandits led by Mohammad Askali.

The Tanum Group was believed responsible for the abduction of three foreigners—two Canadians and Norwegian and a Filipina at a resort in Samal Island in Davao province.

On Saturday, military and police agents arrested one of the Abu Sayyaf bandits reportedly involved in the series of kidnappings in Malaysia and Tawi-Tawi, when he was involved in a car accident in Panamao, Jolo, in Sulu.

Gen. Alan Arrojado, chief of the Joint Task Force in Sulu, identified the ASG militant as Kadaffy Kamsa who was arrested at a hospital in Asturias, Jolo. He was charged with illegal possession of firearms and reckless imprudence resulting in physical injury.

Kamsa is being guarded for possible retaliatory action by the ASG.

Arrojado said Kamsa was with two other ASG members Badong Kamsa and Nixon Manda, who were able to escape from the scene of accident.

------------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Palace reiterates: No credible ISIS threat in Philippines By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 29, 2015 - 12:01am 4 87 googleplus0 0


The USNS Millinocket (left), a Spearhead-class joint high speed vessel, and USS Cheyenne, the last Los Angeles-class submarine of the US Navy, dock at the Alava Pier of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone for a routine port call yesterday. ERNIE PEÑAREDONDO

MANILA, Philippines - There is no credible threat from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the Philippines despite a recent clash in Mindanao that killed eight members, including an Indonesian, of a group that claims affiliation with ISIS.

Malacañang gave the assurance yesterday amid reports that the terrorist group has gained sympathizers in Mindanao.

The Palace on Friday directed authorities to verify possible links of the eight men killed in an encounter in Sultan Kudarat to international terror group ISIS – also called Daesh in Arab countries.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that while both the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were of the position that the country must be vigilant against terror groups, there is no credible information that the ISIS has penetrated the country.

ISIS is notorious for its bizarre interpretation of Islam, which involves executing non-believers, including fellow Muslims.

“Validation of information gathered thus far has produced no basis to confirm such reports. The intelligence community continues to monitor threats to ensure proper response by the security forces,” Coloma said, quoting the PNP.

Coloma said the AFP also reported no credible and verified foreign terrorist presence in the country.

He said this was the reason why the AFP did not see the need to raise the country’s alert level.

“We call on our people to always remain vigilant and alert and to cooperate with the authorities. Our constant call is for a collective and participative security awareness and preparedness among our people,” Coloma said over radio dzRB.

The United States issued a worldwide terror alert on Monday and warned that ISIS and other extremist groups were planning attacks in multiple regions.

On Friday, Coloma said the AFP and the PNP were conducting law enforcement operations against threat groups.


COLOMA

“There are continuing efforts to verify if indeed there are possible links of such groups with other threat elements within and outside the country. Our security forces are committed to and focused on ensuring the safety and well-being of our citizens whose vigilance and cooperation are essential in maintaining peace and order,” Coloma said.

According to reports, Indonesian Sucipto Ibrahim Ali, alias Abdul Fatah, was killed – along with seven others – in a clash with soldiers of the 61st Marine Company under the Marine Battalion Landing Team 6 patrolling Sitio Sinapingan in Barangay Butril in Sultan Kudarat at about 5:40 a.m. on Thursday.

Western Mindanao Command spokesman Major Felimon Tan Jr. said the eight killed were members of the Ansarul Khilafa.

The military is still verifying if the slain Indonesian was indeed Sucipto, a member of the Mujahidin Indonesia Timur, which has claimed links to ISIS.

Following the encounter, troops recovered assorted high-powered firearms, materials for making improvised explosive devices (IEDs), assorted radios, various documents of high intel value and several pieces of ISIS flags.

The group recently posted videos of themselves on the Internet expressing support for extremist groups. They claim affiliation with ISIS and other extremist groups but have no known, verified and confirmed links to such groups, the AFP said.


PHILSTAR

Palace dismisses reported ISIS threats in PH by Madel Sabater - Namit November 28, 2015 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share13


COLOMA

Malacañang on Saturday dispelled reports that there are terror threats from international terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the country, particularly in Mindanao.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said intelligence reports from both the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police (PNP) confirmed that there are no ISIS-related threats to the country.

“Marami lang nababalita at mga ulat hinggil sa mga banta na binabanggit ang pangalan ng ISIS pero batay sa pagsusuri ng ating AFP at PNP, wala namang batayan para kumpirmahin yang mga haka-haka o spekulasyon hinggil diyan [There are a lot of reports on ISIS threats but based on the intelligence report gathered by the AFP and the PNP, there is no basis to confirm such rumors or speculations],” Coloma said.

He said that based on the intelligence report gathered by the PNP, “there is no credible terrorist threat directly linked to the ISIS.”

“Validation of information gathered thus far has produced no basis to confirm that report. The intelligence community continues to monitor threats to ensure proper response from the security forces,” Coloma said.

As for the AFP, Coloma said the Armed Forces confirmed that there is “no credible and verified foreign terrorist threat established in our country and this is the reason we need not duly raise our alert level.”

READ MORE...

He, however, said the AFP wants to warn the public to always remain vigilant and alert and cooperate with the authorities.

“Our constant call is for a collective and participative security awareness and preparedness of our people,” Coloma said.

Earlier this week, there were reports that eight members of an ISIS-inspired group were killed in Mindanao.

The Palace has time and again urged the public to remain vigilant following terrorist attacks in other countries, one of which was the Paris attack, which killed more than 120 people.

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

ARMM gov denies recruitment of Mindanao students into Isis
@inquirerdotnet Inquirer Mindanao 09:42 PM October 7th, 2014


ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) denied reports that students from Mindanao have been recruited to join the Islamic State.

“The reports are pure speculation and have no basis,” Hataman said in a phone interview.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro earlier said that he heard that militants have penetrated schools in Mindanao to recruit students to join the fighting but admitted then that he did not know any particular school that had confirmed ISIS activities.

ARMM, through its Bureau of Public Information, said even the various concerned agencies on the ground and communities have not received any confirmed reports about the existence and recruitment of ISIS in the region.

“As of this time, we have not received any confirmed information about the existence of ISIS and its recruitment in ARMM,” said Amir Mawallil, information office director of ARMM.

DepEd ARMM Secretary Jamar Kulayan, in a separate phone interview, supported Hataman’s statement adding that even the school officials have not noticed any activities related to the ISIS.

Jamar expressed confidence that ARMM schools have remained safe zones of peace.

RELATED STORY

ISIS sympathizers in Mindanao not recruits—governor


TRIBUNE

AFP to deploy more troops in Mindanao to fight ASG
Written by Mario J. Mallari Tuesday, 01 December 2015 00:00



The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) would be sending more troops, including members of the elite Light Reaction Battalion (LRB), to Mindanao to operate against enemies of the state, particularly the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group in Western Mindanao.

Informed sources said that at least a battalion of Army troops and a company from the elite LRB are being eyed to augment the present military troops operating in Mindanao.

“The sending of additional troops is now being discussed, including the sending of a Light Reaction Company. We are looking at one infantry battalion and a company from the LRB,” a ranking official said.

The LRC is among the elite AFP units trained and equipped by the United States primarily to counter terrorism.

Another official said that the deployment of augmentation forces to Mindanao, particularly at the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom), was meant to ensure relentless operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group.

“We need more troops to sustain the momentum,” the official said.

The sources said that the additional troops would come from Luzon.

Earlier, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin has said that more military forces will be added to boost the fight against the Abu Sayyaf, in compliance to the directive of President Aquino to intensify further the ongoing operations against the terrorist group.

“Our fight against the Abu Sayyaf is continuing, our operations are ongoing. We will be adding forces to stop their banditry,” said Gazmin.

READ MORE...

“The military is currently focused on the kidnappers in Sulu,” he added.

President Aquino ordered intensified operation against the ASG following the beheading of Malaysian captive Bernard Then last month while the country was hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in Manila.

Then was held captive by the ASG band of Alhabsy Misaya and Alden Bagade since last May after being snatched from a floating restaurant in Sandakan. Also abducted was Thien Nyuk Fun, owner of the restaurant, who was freed after reportedly paying P30 million ransom.

At present, the Abu Sayyaf group is still holding at least five foreign hostages, including Norwegian Kjartan Sakkingstad, Canadians Robert Hall and John Ridsdel — who were kidnapped from Ocean View Resort in Samal Island, and Italian Rolando del Torchio, who was snatched from his pizza parlor in Dipolog City.

The Abu Sayyaf has demanded P3 billion for the release of the Samal hostages.

No less than AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri has relayed the instruction of the President to Mindanao troops for intensified operations against lawless groups.


MANILA STANDARD

2 Iraqis spotted near clash site posted December 01, 2015 at 12:01 am by Francisco Tuyay



TWO Iraqi nationals whose mission in the country remained unknown were spotted in Central Mindanao but the military on Monday said the Ansar Khilafa Philippines that government troops were pursuing relentlessly had no direct links to the Islamic State and were known cattle rustlers.

The two Iraqis, an intelligence source said, were spotted by agents monitoring terrorist activities in the area where an Indonesian jihadist and seven others were killed in a firefight with Marines on Nov. 27 on the outskirts of Palembang town in Sultan Kudarat.

“They [2 Iraqis] were seen adjacent to Palembang town last November 23 but could not be located their present location,” said the source.

The reported presence of the two Iraqis brings to 12 the number of suspected foreign terrorists in the country days before the bloody encounter with the AKP.

The foreigners include three Syrians, spotted somewhere at the Cararao Complex in Lanao province, five Malaysians in Sulu and two Indonesians.

Capt. Joan Petinglay, spokesperson of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said ground troops have launched massive search and destroy operations against the AKP, particularly its leader Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, who had a standing warrant for his arrest.

But Petinglay described the AKP as a “criminal group” with a record of cattle rustling.

“So far, we do not have evidence to say that they are linked to ISIS or that they are a terrorist group,” Petinglay said in a phone interview.

On Thursday, eight men, including Indonesian jihadist Sucipto Ibrahim Ali, were killed in a clash with the military and police who were out to serve arrest warrants against Mohammad Jaafar Sabiwang Maguid, alias Commander Tokboy, the alleged leader of the AKP who was able to escape.

READ MORE...

National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia said Sucipto, a member of the Jema’ah Islamiyah, has links with the Mujahideen Indonesia Timur, a terrorist group that has direct ties with ISIS.

Petinglay said after the four-hour gunfight, government troops were able to recover ISIS flags, assorted high-powered firearms, and several identification cards of individuals believed to have been recruited by the AKP.

Petinglay, however, insisted that AKP still cannot be labeled a terrorist group even as she confirmed its recruitment activities.

“There is no confirmation yet that they are a terrorist group. Right now, we consider the AKP as a lawless group,” she added.

At least four areas in Mindanao were being used by the jihadists as training camps, an intelligence source told The Standard.

The training camps are located somewhere in the forested areas in Sarangani, Cararao in Lanao province, Barangay Tanum in Patikul, Sulu and Palembang in Sultan Kudarat, where student recruits are being trained for military operations.

On Monday, the Palace denied reports that Filipinos were among those included in the most recent abductions by terrorist group Islamic State in war-torn Syria.

“According to Ambassador Nestor Padalhin, our charge d’affairs in Syria, [the] report of ISIS abduction is not true. There are Filipinos apprehended because of expired Iqamas [or permits]. The embassy and legal counsel are assisting them to sort out the matter,” said Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda in a text message to the Palace reporters.

The Philippine government’s repatriation program on Filipinos working in Syria continues.

Last month, 31 overseas Filipino workers from Syria returned to the Philippines.

With the latest batch, the total number of Filipinos repatriated from Syria since the unrest started in 2011 is now at 5,668.

ISIS has abducted 230 residents, including dozens of Christians, from a central Syrian town captured by the extremists on Sunday, a human rights activist said.

Osama Edward, director of the Christian Assyrian Network for Human Rights in Syria, said that about 60 Christians were initially taken but that about half of them were released and had made it to nearby villages.

Qaryatain lies in the middle of a triangle formed by the cities of Homs, Palmyra and Damascus. With Sandy Araneta


ZAMBOANGA TIMES

AFP: Indonesian bomb maker among 8 killed in SK clash PDF Print E-mail Sunday, 29 November 2015 14:31


The Philippines’ military confirmed Saturday that an Indonesian national believed to be an expert bomb-maker was among eight suspected members of a Daesh-linked group killed in a clash earlier this week. The 6th Infantry Division’s commander identified the suspect as Ibrahim Ali, a senior member of the Mujahideen Indonesian Timur, or the East Indonesia Mujahideen, which has taken responsibility for the killing of several Indonesian police officers and is believed to have many foreign members.By Roy Ramos ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines

The military on Saturday confirmed that one of the eight ISIS supporters killed in clash with marines on Thursday in Sultan Kudarat was an Indonesian national, said to be an expert bomb maker.

Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, identified the Indonesian as Ibrahim Ali, alias Hudzaifa, a senior member of the Mujahideen Indonesian Timur (MIT) and has been training Muslim rebels on bomb making in Palimbang town, Sultan Kudarat province.

Pangilinan said Ibrahim Ali was first arrested in Zamboanga City for illegal possession of firearms in 2005 but was released from detention in 2013 because the case filed against him was weak.

Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat, 1st Marine Brigade commander, said in a separate statement that Ali was killed in a dawn encounter with soldiers of the 6th Marine Battalion Landing Team Thursday in the village of Butril, Palimbang town , Sultan Kudarat.

Seven other ISIS supporters were killed in the almost four-hour gunbattle.

Salamat said that marines and police investigators of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and local policemen came to Butril village to serve warrants of arrest on Mohammad Jaafar Sabiwang Maguid alias Commander Tokboy when they were met by gunfire which triggered a running gunbattle.

When the firefight stopped, eight bodies were found scattered in an encampment, including that of Ibrahim Ali.

READ MORE...

Salamat said Commander Tokboy managed to escape.

He said Ibrahim Ali had since been monitored to be with Commander Tokboy after his release, teaching him the mechanics of bomb making.

The government troops found one cal. 50 sniper rifle, 20 rounds of ammunition for cal. 50, an M-16 Armalite rifle, a cal. 45 pistol, bomb making materials, ATM cards, Philhealth cards and six Daesh flags.

Pangilinan said Commander Tokboy has four standing warrants of arrest and was involved in a series of “atrocities and violence” in the South Cotabato area since August 2008.

He was previously apprehended in 2009 by security forces at Maasim town, Sarangani Province, but managed to escape from jail. He had been a fugitive for five years and has since then engaged in criminal activities like cattle rustling, extortion, highway robbery and murders.

Salamat said some 50 families have fled the village of Butril but the local governments and the Marines have attended to their needs.


ABS-CBN

Why PH should worry about ISIS threat - Professor BanlaoiABS-CBNnews.com Posted at 11/15/15 5:00 PM 38.8K

MANILA - The Philippines has to raise its alarm against terror threats following the deadly attacks in Paris, a security analyst said on Sunday.

Professor Rommel Banlaoi said the Philippine government as well as all citizens should be wary of the threats emanating from the terrorist organization ISIS, considering its presence in the country and its spreading global acts.

“We should not be complacent about the threat posed by ISIS because right now, we monitored at least six self-proclaimed ISIS followers in the Philippines. And if you will review all the videos of the Abu Sayyaf Group, they are displaying the black flag of ISIS, so they are bandwagoning on the popularity, the global popularity of ISIS now,” he said.

The ISIS claimed responsibility over the bombings and shootings on Friday night which resulted in over a hundred of deaths in Paris.

Banlaoi described the attacks as a major blow not only against France but against all democratic states such as the United States, Germany and Great Britain.

He said that the Philippines must also be cautious of ISIS' aggressive recruitment, especially with the presence of social media.

“Right now ISIS is very aggressive in recruiting followers through social media mechanism. They are very active in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and they don’t need to send actual organizers to go to the Philippines. They just need to access the Internet and start recruiting people from the Internet, particularly those younger ones," Banlaoi said.

READ MORE...

The security analyst explained that preventing the influence of terror groups also requires addressing the country's pressing issues which terrorists use to invite and justify their violent acts.

"And the Philippines is vulnerable to the radical ideas of ISIS because of many underlying conditions and also because of the local grievances that ISIS can take advantage of,” Banlaoi said.

Banlaoi added that the present campaign against global terrorism has been more complicated and challenging, pointing out that the fight against terrorist groups is not limited to armed conflict but extends to a battle between ideas.

"This war against terrorism is not only a war against armed groups, this is a war against ideas because ISIS has the idea that is endorsing the use of violence and using the religion of Islam as a justification," he said.

"So for us the challenge is to present alternative ideas against ISIS and we have to convince others that the ideas being propagated by ISIS is not the universal idea," he added.

 
https://youtu.be/9AtnQy_DqL4


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