Terrorism & Insurgency

Basilan suicide attack underlines residual Islamic State threat but unlikely to reverse decline of jihadist activity

03 August 2018


On 30 July, a van exploded at a security checkpoint near Lamitan City, Basilan, staffed by Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) personnel, an irregular auxiliary force of the military, and killed 11 people.

One of these was the van’s driver, whom a CAFGU soldier reported spoke an “unfamiliar language”. The Islamic State subsequently claimed a suicide attack on its official Amaq social media channel and identified the driver as a Moroccan. Reports vary but the driver was apparently transporting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to Lamitan, where a large parade of schoolchildren was scheduled, but prematurely detonated the devices once CAFGU personnel began searching the van.

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