New terror group recruits students PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 November 2015 14:44

Philippines military on Sunday said the seven persons killed along with an Indonesian expert bomb maker in a clash with marines on Thursday in Sultan Kudarat province belong to a new Jihadist group that has emerged in the country’s south.

Capt. Joan Petinglay, spokesperson of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Central, said the new Jihadist group called Ansarul Khilafa Philippines has been recruiting students in the central part of Mindanao.

“We learned of their ongoing recruitment after the encounter,” GMA News quoted Petinglay as saying.

She said following the encounter with the marines in Palimbang town, Sultan Kudarat, troops recovered several students’ identification cards.

Among the most prominent names on the IDs was that of 22-year-old Datu Mongkang “Mongs” Dilangalen, a nephew of former Maguindanao House Representative Didagen “Digs” Dilangalen.

The young Dilangalen was among those killed in the encounter along with Ibrahim Ali, an Indonesian expert bomb maker, described by Philippines authorities as a known apprentice of Jemmah Islamiyah operative Julkifli bin Hir a.k.a. Marwan, who was killed in the January 25  Mamasapano bloody clash where 44 police commandos perished.

Ali was identified as  a senior member of the Mujahideen Indonesian Timur, or the East Indonesia Mujahideen, which has taken responsibility for the killing of several Indonesian police officers and is believed to have many foreign members.

The young Dilangalen’s family identified him through the photo of one of the bodies found in the encampment of the Ansarul Khilafa.

Bai Princess Dilangalen Piang Abdulrakman told GMA News that her cousin told his parents that he was leaving for General Santos City last June.

The young Dilangalen returned home last August and talked with his mother over the phone a day before the clash, Bai Princess said.

“She must accept what might happen to him,” Bai Princess said quoting the young Dilangalen as saying to his mother over the phone.

The three other slain members of the newgroup who have been identified by the military were Abdul Hali, Tatuh Sumail and Kira Sabiwang, all residents of Palimbang.

Petinglay said the military will draw up a plan to stop the ongoing recruitment by the new Jihadist group inspired by the ISIS. Another older group in the south supporting ISIS is the Abu Sayyaf.

“From here, we will formulate plans together with the local government units and the community as well as parents here (central Mindanao), she said. “Then we will be able to stop  the recruitment.”

Petinglay, said that they have yet to determine if the Ansarul Khilafa Philippines has connections with Daesh or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Aside from the students’ IDs, the military also recovered IS flags after the the Palimbang encounter.

The military, however, said that the presence of the flags at the site of the encounter does not necessarily mean that the group has links with the Daesh

Security analyst Professor Rommel Banlaoi told radio dzBB on Saturday that Ansarul Khilafa Philippines has ties with the regional group, Malay Archipelago Unit for the Islamic State, which allegedly recruits members for the Islamic State.

The new terror group is led by Mohammad Jaafar Sabiwang Maguid alias Commander Tokboy, who was able to escape during the Palimbang encounter.

Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, Joint Task Group Central chief, earlier said Ibrahim Ali had been training fighters in Sultan Kudarat province in bomb-making.

Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat, 1st Marine Brigade commander, said in a separate statement that Ali was killed in the firefight that broke out at dawn Thursday when gunmen reportedly fired on security forces in Butril village, Palimbang town.

Pangilinan said Friday that Ali had been arrested in Zamboanga City in 2005 for illegal possession of firearms, only to be released in 2013 due to the weakness of the case against him.

He said that Ali had been teaching bomb-making to fighters under Commander Tokboy ever since.

Commander Tokboy has four standing warrants of arrest and was involved in a series of “atrocities and violence” — including murders, highway robberies, extortion and cattle raiding — in the South Cotabato region since August 2008, according to Pangilinan’s statement.

He had been captured in 2009 in Maasim town, Sarangani province, but managed to escape from jail.