Category Archives: Philippines

Video Footage of Philippine Military Fighting the Islamic State

posted by Christopher W. Holton

This serves as a good reminder that we are in a world war. Western political leaders don’t want to admit that the war exists, but the 200,000 residents of the Philippine city of Marawi know all too well about the war.

The Islamic State seized control of their city more than two weeks ago and this video illustrates the degree to which the Philippine military is going to battle against the Jihadists in their country…

It seems to us that our grandfathers did not liberate the Philippines from Japanese imperialism from 1944 to 1945 only to have Jihadists seize control and impose their barbaric way of life on the good and brave people of the Philippines.

More Information Emerges on Foreign Jihadi Fighters in the Philippines

MusaCerantonio-thumb-560x354-3352

by Christopher W. Holton

A couple of years ago the Philippine government THOUGHT that they were making progress in ending the long-raging Islamic insurgency on Mindanao.

Clearly, efforts to negotiate a truce with Jihadists there did not work out so well.

Entering into truces with Jihadis is never a good idea for reasons based on Islamic doctrine but in this case, the insurgency reignited for other reasons as well.

Just a few years ago the players in the Jihadist insurgency were the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MIF), Abu Sayaff, Jemaah Islamiyah, and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Then something significant happened: in the summer of 2014, at least a section of Abu Sayyaf pledged allegiance to the Islamic State:

https://terrortrendsbulletin.com/2014/08/04/abu-sayyaf-joins-the-islamic-state/

Now, in 2017, violent Jihad in the Philippines has escalated to the point that Islamic State Jihadis were able to seize a city of 200,000 for the better part of a week.

The biggest aspect of this development is the revelation that there are foreign fighters involved in the fighting in the Philippines. In fact, given the geographic distribution of the reported foreign fighters, as well as the intensity of the fighting there over the past 10 days, one has to consider that it is very possible that the Islamic State has set its sights on the Philippines as the next theater in the global Jihadist insurgency.

“Indonesians, Malaysians, Pakistanis, Saudis, Chechens, Yemenis, Indians, Moroccans, and Turks have been identified among the militants…”

http://dailycaller.com/2017/06/01/philippines-becomes-hotbed-for-isis-activity-as-foreign-jihadis-join-the-fight/

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-militants-foreigners-idUSKBN18Q0OO

Bangsamoro-Islamic-Freedom-Fighters-IP

 

 

Abu Sayyaf Beheads Captain of Philippine Fishing Vessel

Abu Sayyaf most wanted poster

Abu Sayyaf Most Wanted

 

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Philippine officials reported Monday that fighters with the terrorist organization Abu Sayyaf have beheaded a fisherman, Noel Besconde, who was taken hostage during the hijacking of the Ramona 2 late last year. Besconde was the vessel’s captain.

Unlike Abu Sayyaf’s last four hostage beheadings, which the group carried out when ransom deadlines passed, the killing appeared to be motivated by the need for mobility. “The reason why he was beheaded is that he was delaying their movement,” said Brigadier-General Cirilito Sobejana.

http://maritime-executive.com/article/abu-sayyaf-beheads-fishing-vessels-captain

 

Islamic State Jihadists Surging into the Philippines

philippines-mindanao-map

posted by Christopher W. Holton

The Islamic insurgency in the southern Philippines is taking a turn for the worse as the Islamic State has its sights set on waging violent Jihad there…

The reported presence of foreign jihadists in Mindanao, particularly in Lanao and nearby provinces, is being validated by concerned government agencies, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said.

Esperon issued the statement in response to the series of intelligence information reaching The STAR, claiming that Indonesian and Malaysian jihadists, along with their Middle East counterparts, have entered Mindanao through the country’s southern backdoor.

These foreign jihadists allied with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are reportedly occupying the former base of the Jemaah Islamiyah at Mt. Cararao in Butig, Lanao Del Sur.

Other reports claimed the foreign jihadists have linked-up with IS-inspired Maute terror group who for more than two weeks has been the subject of massive military and police operations.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/12/11/1652361/entry-foreign-jihadists-mindanao-being-verified-esperon

Jihad Continues to Escalate in the Philippines

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posted by Christopher W. Holton

We’ve been covering the Islamic insurgency in the Philippines for years now. Along with Thailand, it is one of the two major Islamic insurgencies of which people in the West are mostly unaware.

Since the Jihadist group Abu Sayyaf pledged allegiance to the Islamic State back in 2014, their operations have escalated, at the very least suggesting that funding sources have ramped up their support for the Jihad in the Philippines…

https://terrortrendsbulletin.com/2015/11/26/report-islamic-state-affiliate-abu-sayyaf-expanding-operations/

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The latest incident involves the hostage taking of a half dozen Vietnamese sailors from the high seas near the Philippines, part of Abu Sayyaf’s ongoing operations to both terrorize and raise money through ransom…

Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants attacked a Vietnamese cargo ship on Friday, kidnapping the captain and five of its crew members near the southern Philippine island of Basilan.

Approximately 10 gunmen launched a dawn attack on the MV Royal 16, boarding the vessel and fleeing with their captives in speedboats, according to regional military spokesman Major Filemon Tan. Their fate and current status remain unknown.

The ship was heading for Davao City but was stopped near the southern heartland of the Abu Sayyaf militant group, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). Vietnam is yet to comment on their kidnap.

http://europe.newsweek.com/gunmen-philippines-kidnap-six-vietnamese-sailors-near-abu-sayyaf-heartland-519985

Jihad Escalates in the Philippines

Philippine Boxer Manny Pacquiao

Philippine Boxer Manny Pacquiao

by Christopher W. Holton

Here at Terror Trends Bulletin, we have periodically reported on Jihadist groups and activities in the Philippines. This is a theater in the global jihad that is largely ignored by the so-called “mainstream” media.

Over the past week, a Canadian hostage has been murdered by Abu Sayyef jihadists and now we have the revelation that the group plotted to kidnap prominent citizens, evidently to impress the Islamic State.

Philippines President Benigno Aquino highlighted the advancements of Abu Sayyaf, a local extremist group, saying that its fighters had planned to kidnap his sister Kris and boxing star Manny Pacquiao. Aquino also added in a statement that he was “appalled” by the beheading of Canadian citizen John Ridsdel on Monday by Abu Sayyaf militants, believed to have taken over 20 other foreigners hostage.

http://www.ibtimes.com/abu-sayyaf-fighters-planned-kidnap-boxer-manny-pacquiao-philippine-president-benigno-2360302

Report: Islamic State Affiliate Abu Sayyaf Expanding Operations

Abu Sayyaf pledging allegiance to the Islamic State

Abu Sayyaf pledging allegiance to the Islamic State

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Back in August of 2014, a senior leader of the Philippine Jihadist terrorist organization Abu Sayyaf pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Not surprisingly, now there is evidence that the organization is expanding its operations in the Pacific Rim area…

As the rest of the world grapples with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), their latest attacks on Paris, and what some commentators are calling the Global Jihad Insurgency, Philippines-based Islamic militant group the Abu Sayyaf may be spreading its own unwanted tentacles.

That message was clear following a leaked memo from within the Malaysian police published by the news portal Malaysiakini detailing how the Abu Sayyaf has established cell networks in East and West Malaysia, which were prepared to carry out terrorist-styled attacks.

This is unusual as the Abu Sayyaf – who have been widely, and justifiably, vilified as thugs – have largely kept their operations in Basilan, Jolo  and surrounding islands, spilling into the Sulu Sea and only sometimes into nearby Sabah, since the group’s inception in 1991. Operational cells in Kuala Lumpur would indicate a major expansion of its operations.

If the Abu Sayyaf is spreading its wings as an ISIS proxy into Malaysia, a Muslim country with secular pretensions, then fears that the militant insurgency — which dominated the region’s political landscape in the first decade of this century — is making a resurgence will be realized.

Just last week Malaysia’s defense minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said he and other Malaysian leaders were on an ISIS hit list.

As a paramilitary group, the Abu Sayyaf has sworn allegiance to ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has outlasted its contemporaries, is well armed, and can make bombs. And that is exactly what ISIS needs if it is to pick-up from where JI and JAT left off in the push for a Southeast Asian caliphate, not unlike the one it seeks in the Middle East.

http://thediplomat.com/2015/11/has-a-philippine-militant-group-gone-regional-amid-islamic-state-fears/

 

 

Italian Former Missionary Kidnapped in Philippines

mindanao

It is highly likely that Rolando del Torchio was abducted by Jihadists. First of all, the abduction occurred on Mindanao, a hotbed of Jihadi violence for many years. Second,  this poor man is a former Catholic missionary; missionaries have been especially targeted by Jihadists in the Philippines for many years.

This abduction shows the futility of negotiating with Jihadists. The Philippine government has been attempting to appease the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for years, so splinter groups and other independent Jihadist groups have carried on with campaigns of terror.

Even if MILF was willing to honor a truce with the Philippine government (highly doubtful), they are but one group of Jihadists operating in the Philippines. It is more likely than not that the Jihadist insurgency in Mindanao will escalate, rather than decline…

Unknown gunmen seized Rolando del Torchio, a former PIME missionary, in Dipolog City (Zamboanga del Norte, Mindanao), where he owned the ‘Ur Choice Bistro Café’, an eatery near the Andres Bonifacio College.

Rolando Del Torchio, 57, comes from Angera (Varese, Italy). Ordained a missionary with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) in 1984, he worked in Naples for a few years and was then sent to the Philippines, to Sebuco on Mindanao, not far from where he was kidnapped.

As a missionary, he worked hard to defend the rights of farmers and tribals against landowners, often putting his own life at risk. In 2001, he asked to live outside the Institute, remaining in Zamboanga del Norte. Subsequently, he left the priesthood for personal reasons.

Nothing is known about the kidnappers. Several Muslim guerrilla groups operate on the island of Mindanao. Some are engaged in talks with the Filipino government. Others abduct foreigners or locals for financial gain or to pursue their struggle against the authorities.

PIME has been present in Mindanao since the 1970s. One of Rolando Del Torchio’s colleagues, Fr Fausto Tentorio, was killed in 2011. Two other missionaries have been killed on the island. Private armed guards murdered Fr Tullio Favali in Tulunan, in the Diocese of Kidapawan, in 1985. Fr Salvatore Carzedda, who was involved in talks with Muslims, was assassinated in Zamboanga in 1992.

Two more missionaries have been abducted. Fr Luciano Benedetti was kidnapped in 1998 by a Muslim group but was released after about two months. A splinter group from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) seized Fr Giancarlo Bossi in 2007 and released him after two months in captivity.

http://www.asianews.it/index.php?art=35523&l=en

 

 

 

US Army Issues New Shoulder Patch for Campaign Against “ISIL”

By Christopher Holton

The US Army has issued a new shoulder patch for the slightly more than 3,000 troops who President Obama has decided he can spare to fight the world’s most dangerous Jihadist entity, the Islamic State, which the US federal government still insists on referring to as “ISIL,” despite the fact that there are now Jihadi groups from West Africa to the Philippines that have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Nothing illustrates better the institutional denial that we are saddled with as a nation in our fight to save Western civilization than our federal counter terror bureaucracy’s slavish attitude toward outmoded views on the threat from Jihad…except maybe the new shoulder patch that is the subject of this post. Here it is:

New US Army shoulder patch. Note absence of anything identifiable with the US Army or the United States of America

New US Army shoulder patch. Note absence of anything identifiable with the US Army or the United States of America

Now compare the US Army’s shoulder patch to those of several known, prominent Jihadist groups…and prepare to be repulsed…

Libyan Islamic Fighting Group

Libyan Islamic Fighting Group

 

Jemaah Islamiyah in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia

Jemaah Islamiyah in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia

Abu Sayyef Group in the Philippines

Abu Sayyef Group in the Philippines

Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan and India

Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan and India

Boko Haram in Nigeria and west Africa

Boko Haram in Nigeria and west Africa

Al Shabaab in Somalia and east Africa

Al Shabaab in Somalia and east Africa

Al Qaeda. Remember them?

Al Qaeda. Remember them?

The Taliban

The Taliban

HAMAS

HAMAS

And the granddaddy of them all...The Muslim Brotherhood

And the granddaddy of them all…The Muslim Brotherhood

If you’re wondering what the HELL is going on here, you’re definitely not alone.

The Philippines: Another Jihad the World is Ignoring

Philippine island of Mindanao, site of bloody Jihadist insurgency

Philippine island of Mindanao, site of bloody Jihadist insurgency

Not a week goes by these days in which we are not reminded that there is a global Jihadist insurgency. It is not homogenous; the various Islamic insurgent groups are not united. But they do all possess the same basic goal: to see to it that allah’s law rules supreme on earth.

Yes, we’re in a world war. Our enemies know it, but we continue to deny it.

For example, the Jihadist insurgency in the southern Philippines, which has been going on for many years, continues to flare up periodically. It’s a bloody war that most of the world knows nothing about because the Western media rarely reports on it.

The Philippine government made the mistake of entering into a truce with the Jihadist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) almost a year ago. (Please, no stupid jokes about this savage group’s acronym.)

Members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and flag

Members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and flag

Right from the start, a breakaway Jihadist faction, the Boro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), continued waging Jihad despite the truce. In addition, in the latest outbreak, members of the MILF were reportedly involved.

Boro Islamic Freedom Fighters jihadis

Boro Islamic Freedom Fighters jihadis

It all started when Filipino police conducted a raid looking for Malaysian bomb-maker and Jemaah Islamiyah leader Zulkifli bin Hir. (Jemaah Islamiyah is a third Jihadist organization based out of Malaysia.)

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Also known as “Marwan,” Zulkifli bin Hir is believed to have conducted bomb making training for yet another Jihadist group, Abu Sayyaf. The U.S. is offering a $5 million reward for him. He is believed to have been hiding in the Southern Philippines since 2003.

Abu Sayyaf flag...look familiar? It should.

Abu Sayyaf flag…look familiar? It should.

zulkifli+hir-500x335

Anyway, the operation did not go well unfortunately. Depending on whose numbers you use, somewhere between 37 and 64 Filipino police officers of the elite Special Action Force were killed in the operation and an unknown number of others may have been captured.

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“This is the single-largest loss of life in recent memory to our security forces,” Interior Minister Mar Roxas said at a televised press conference.

Only 11 Jihadis were killed, 6 BIFF and 5 MILF, and none are believed to have been bin Hir/Marwan.

The Philippine armed forces are now being reduced to calling on the Jihadists to release any prisoners they may have taken.

The operation took place in an area controlled by the MILF. The fact that BIFF Jihadis were also operating in the area and the fact that the Philippine police suspect that a notorious, most wanted Jihadi is hiding out there tells us all we need to know about the worth of the so-called truce.

The Philippine government has joined its European and American counterparts in going into full-blown denial about the apparent failure of its truce with the Jihadists.

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