Terrorism & Insurgency

New leadership, training of Philippines’ Islamic State-linked militants unlikely to allow expansion beyond western Mindanao in coming months

19 January 2018


On 16 and 18 January 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte issued two rare security warnings that terrorists were planning imminent attacks against (unspecified) airports, ports, and other public places in the Philippines.

At a 17 January 2018 Supreme Court hearing of why martial law had been extended in Mindanao, Major General Fernando Trinidad stated that the Philippine military had identified 48 militants from Egypt, Indonesia, and Malaysia who had entered southern Philippines under the guise of tourists and businesspeople. According to Trinidad, the 48 militants have been able to recruit and train about 400 new fighters since Duterte declared the “liberation” of Marawi in late October 2017 and military operations began to wind down.

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