Filtered By: Topstories

OSG: 20 ISIS cell groups operating in Mindanao

Government lawyers disclosed on Monday that 20 cell groups are in cahoots with four ISIS-linked groups that aim to establish a caliphate for the international terror organization in Mindanao.

In a memorandum filed with the Supreme Court (SC), the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) enumerated the allied terror organizations of Abu Sayyaf group, Ansarul Khilafah Philippines (AKP), Maute group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

These cell groups are as follows: 

  • Ansar Dawiah Fi Filibbin
  • Rajah Solaiman Islamic Movement
  • Al Harakatul Islamiyah Battalion
  • Jama’at Ansar Khilafa
  • Ansharul Khilafah Philippines Battalion
  • Bangsamoro Justice Movement
  • Khilafah Islamiya Mindanao
  • Abu Sayyaf Group (Sulu faction)
  • Syuful Khilafa Fi Luzon
  • Ma’rakah Al-Ansar Battalion
  • Dawla Islamiyyah Cotabato
  • Dawlat Al Islamiyah Waliyatul Masrik
  • Ansar Al-Shariyah Battalion
  • Jamaah al-Tawhid wal Jihad Philippines
  • Abu Dujanah Battalion
  • Abu Khubayn Battalion
  • Jundallah Battalion
  • Abu Sadr Battalion
  • Jamaah Al Muhajirin wal Anshor
  • Balik-Islam Group

According to the OSG, these ISIS cell groups "conduct coordinated attacks" with the four rebel groups.

"These ISIS-linked local rebel groups and ISIS cell groups have conducted violent activities, particularly in the areas of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga and Davao, not merely to sow terror amongst the populace, but to splinter the country. They have the capability of conducting bomb attacks in any area of Mindanao," the OSG said.

"This year alone, these groups have been responsible for at least 43 violent attacks employing improvised explosive devices (IED), harassment, and kidnapping," it added.

The OSG submitted the memorandum in line with the consolidated petitions seeking to invalidate President Rodrigo Duterte's imposition of martial law in southern Philippines.

Martial law opponents even pointed out that terrorism does not constitute rebellion, noting the attacks on Marawi City stemmed from an armed resistance by the Maute group to shield Abu Sayyaf leader and ISIS emir for Southeast Asia Isnilon Hapilon from impending arrest.

The government said martial law was necessary to quell rebellion since ISIS-inspired local rebel groups have taken arms against the Philippine government to separate Mindanao from the republic and to deprive Duterte of his powers and prerogatives. — RSJ/KVD/BAP, GMA News