by Tahsan Ali
It is a piece of ‘Syria’ in the Philippines, where pro-Islamic State jihadist outfit Abu Sayyaf has been continuning various types of notoriety including abducting foreigners, extracting ransoms, murders, rapes, dealing in illicit drugs etc for years. President Rodrigo Duterte although vowed of crushing this ruthless Islamist militancy group, there really is no sign of Abu Sayyaf group being crushed or eliminated. Instead, it is intensifying it’s evil strength and gradually becoming a potential threat to the Philippines and the neighboring nations. Islamic State militants are fleeing Syria and finding Mindanao as a safe haven. According to CT experts, around 2-3 thousand fighters of the ISIS have already landed in Mindanao and the number is on rise.
Over the past year the Abu Sayyaf jihadist group has been expanding its activities, boarding commercial and fishing vessels of their southern island stronghold of Jolo, near Malaysia, and abducting dozens of foreign crew members.
Experts say, if the international community led by the US will not take some urgent measures in eliminating Abu Sayyaf group by extending support to President Duterte, Abu Sayyaf’s notoriety may cross the territory of the Philippines and affect neighboring countries thus creating a footprint of the radical Islamic militants in the region.
They believe, Abu Sayyaf is not a mere threat to the Philippines only but it would ultimately turn into a massive threat to the regional and even global peace and security.
It may be added here that Abu Sayyaf group has been buying various types of weapons and explosives from different sources while it also is trying to get hold of chemical weapons.