ISIS Stages Jailbreak in the Philippines

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Around 20 armed fighters the Islamic-State linked Maute Islamist militia group attacked a jail in the southern Philippines and sprung eight of their comrades, according to the Independent. In order to create confusion they also released 15 ordinary criminals imprisoned for drug offences and murder.

In the raid they captured two rifles from the guards, whom they disarmed.

The eight jihadists were arrested last week when they were caught with a homemade bomb in a van.

Maute is a relatively recent formation that beheaded a soldier and two kidnapped workers earlier this year. They use logos affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), to whom they have pledged allegiance.

Other Islamist jihadist groups in the Philippines have also pledged allegiance to ISIS. The most notorious of these is Abu Sayyaf, which beheaded two Canadian hostages this year after ransom demands were not met.

Abu Sayyaf pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in February 2016.

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the army to eradicate Abu Sayyaf and other jihadist groups.

“Let us vigorously pursue this terrorist-bandit Abu Sayyaf group with no let-up and destroy them,” military chief of staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya said. “We have this one chance to annihilate this menace to society that claims links with ISIS.” 

A massive military operation to destroy the jihadist groups is underway.

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org