No report of notorious ISIS fighter entering PH – AFP chief

20-Dec-2016 Intellasia | Rappler | 6:00 AM Print This Post

There are doubts about the claims of the Indonesian Police that Bahrun Naim has left Syria for the Philippines. If true, it will be the first confirmation of direct links between ISIS fighters and local terrorist groups.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief general Eduardo Ano said they did not monitor the supposed entry of Indonesian-born Islamic State (ISIS) fighter Bahrun Naim in the Philippines to link up with local terrorist groups.

Bahrun Naim is reportedly a founding member of Katibah Nusantara, the grouping of Southeast Asian fighters in Syria. He was tagged by the Indonesian Police to be behind the terrorist attacks in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, in January.

“We don’t have any report of his presence here. But I’ll have it checked,” Ano told Rappler in a text message on Sunday, December 18.

Inspector general Boy Rafli Amar, Head of the Indonesian Police Public Relations Division in Jakarta claimed on Thursday, December 15, that Bahrun Naim and a number of ISIS fighters have left Syria for the Philippines. (READ: Indonesian Police: ISIS operative Bahrun Naim detected in southern Philippines)

But there are doubts about the claims of the Indonesian Police. Sydney Jones, the director of a Jakarta-based think tank tracking terrorists in Southeast Asia, also said the claims of the Indonesian Police are “not true”.

If the claims of the Indonesian Police are true, it will be the first confirmation of direct links between ISIS fighters and local terrorist groups in the Philippines.

The foreign terrorist group’s propaganda arm has actively pushed videos of pro-ISIS groups in the Philippines, however. In June, men believed to be ISIS also called on followers to go to the Philippines. (READ: ISIS to followers SE Asia: ‘Go to the Philippines’)

The Philippine military has intensified its offensive against pro-ISIS terrorist groups in the Philippines, particularly against the Abu Sayyaf Group operating in Sulu and Basilan and the Maute Group operating in Lanao Del Sur. (READ: 4 PH terror groups link up with pro-ISIS fighters in region)

The Philippine military has reported the presence of foreign fighters in the Philippines, but none of them have fought in Syria.

http://www.rappler.com/nation/155898-isis-fighter-bahrun-naim-philippines

 


Category: Philippines

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