AFP vows to prevent IS from gaining Philippine foothold
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - January 16, 2016 - 9:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The government will not allow any local group to establish a local base for the terrorist Islamic State, Armed Forces chief Gen. Hernando Iriberri has vowed.

Iriberri said yesterday efforts to contain the homegrown extremist groups trying to reach out to the Islamic State (IS) were continuing.

Even before a video emerged showing Filipino militants training with the black flag of IS in the background, Iriberri said the military had launched operations that neutralized the terror cell.

“We have always tried our best to neutralize the group,” Iriberri said.

He was referring to the Ansar Al Khilafa (AKP), whose camp in Palembang, Sultan Kudarat was raided by government troops last November. Eight militants including Indonesian Abu Al Patah were reported killed.

Iriberri also cited the operation last December against the Abu Sayyaf and bomb expert Malaysian militant Mohammad Najib Hussein, alias Abu Anas, in Al-Barka town, Basilan.

Anas and 25 Abu Sayyaf militants were killed and troops disrupted the training and captured the camp at Sitio Bohe Buug after a weeklong offensive which began Dec.12, Iriberri said.

He said the government suffered three dead and 26 owounded.

“Your armed forces are trying their best, every time we have the information we validate it and we take action just to make sure we will prevent whatever terror acts they are planning,” Iriberri said.

While the government is trying to prevent and disrupt any link and support from the IS, Iriberri maintained they have not established any direct link.

The local terror groups identified as AKP Ansar Al Khilafa in Central Mindanao, and the group from Basilan Dalw’tul Islamiyah W’liyahtul Masik have declared support to the IS or ISIS.

“But we have not established a direct link between them and the ISIS. Why? Because we have not received any report yet whether they are already taking orders from the ISIS,” Iriberri said.

A series of explosions hit Jakarta on Thursday, killing and injuring people. The IS reportedly owned up to the suicide attack. – With Jaime Laude

 

 

ABU ANAS ABU SAYYAF ACIRC ANSAR AL KHILAFA ARMED FORCES BASILAN DALW CENTRAL MINDANAO HERNANDO IRIBERRI INDONESIAN ABU AL PATAH IRIBERRI ISLAMIC STATE
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