Support for ISIS has deepened cooperation among extremists in maritime Southeast Asia, making it more important than ever for law enforcement agencies to have expertise on groups outside their own borders. A better understanding of developments in Mindanao is particularly urgent.
Pro-ISIS Groups in Mindanao and Their Links to Indonesia and Malaysia, the latest report from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), examines four pro-ISIS groups in Mindanao and how each has links to operatives from other countries in the region: the Basilan-based faction of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG); Ansarul Khilafa Philippines (AKP); the Maute group in Lanao del Sur; and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). Each has had fighters, instructors or funding at different times from Indonesia or Malaysia and in turn has provided refuge, training sites, combat experience or arms.
“Over the last two years, ISIS has provided a new basis for cooperation among extremists in the region,“ says Sidney Jones, IPAC director. “That cooperation could take on a new importance as ISIS losses in the Middle East increase and the incentive to undertake violence elsewhere rises.”
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