Islamic State finds safe haven in the Philippines

Asia Times Online reports: “Despite Islamic State’s failure last year to establish a caliphate in the southern Philippine city of Marawi, foreign militants continue to flock to the island of Mindanao, waiting in the wings to strike anew.

Security analysts and military officials say at least 100 foreign terrorist fighters are now holed up with a range of local armed groups that have pledged their allegiance to Islamic State.

Filipino troops needed five months to flush out Islamic State-allied Maute and Abu Sayyaf fighters from their positions in Marawi, which one year later has yet to rise from the ashes of the urban war that left its core in ruins.

Rommel Banlaoi, chair of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research, claims in an interview with Asia Times that Islamic State foreign fighters are now streaming into Mindanao and that the situation is ‘getting worse.’…”

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