Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher Holton, June 1, 2017:
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:
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…”