Philippines and ISIL
|ISIL insurgency in the Philippines|
|Part of the Moro conflict and the|
Military intervention against ISIL
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant|
Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters
Ansar Khalifa Philippines
|Commanders and leaders|
(President of the Philippines)
Ronald dela Rosa
Esmail Sheikh Abdulmalik (Known as Abu Turaifie)
Isnilon Hapilon †
Omar Maute †
Abdullah Maute †
Ameril Umbra Kato †
U.S. special operations forces (technical assistance)
|Military of ISIL|
|Casualties and losses|
|almost 240+ killed||almost 1,680+ killed|
|165+ civilians dead|
The Philippines is one of the state opponents of the militant group, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), more commonly referred to by the local media as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
ISIL maintains operations in the Philippines through local jihadist groups - Maute group, Abu Sayyaf group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and Ansar Khalifa Philippines. The groups pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014 or the following years.
ISIL has been linked to increased suicide bombings by Filipino nationals in 2018 and 2019, a method which has been rarely carried out in the Philippines and the few successfully carried out done by foreigners. Filipinos were suspected to be involved in the 2018 Lamitan, 2019 Jolo Cathedral and Indanan bombings.
Main events timeline
In April, Maute group pledged allegiance to ISIL along with the Ansar Khalifa Philippines terrorist organization, vowing to provide support for each other. The Maute Group was a strong manifestation of the rise of family terrorism in the Philippines.
On November 16, When the APEC Summit was to be held in Manila, a video of men in masks with ISIL black flag behind them is posted on Facebook, claiming "ISIL in Mindanao" will attack the summit.
A video discovered on a cellphone seized by AFP during a raid on a safe house in Marawi shows militants including Hapilon and Maute brothers were planning attack on Marawi. The attack was the 4th step for them to gain the approval of the ISIL leadership,"requires the conduct of widespread atrocities and uprisings all across Mindanao."
- October 16
In March 2016, training manuals, bandanas with ISIL inscriptions and other documents for militants under the ISIL were recovered after the military captured a Maute group camp, indicating that the group may be trying to link up with ISIL.
On June 21, 2016, ISIL released a video entitled "The Solid Structure" recognized Abu Sayyaf leader Hapilon as the mujahid authorized to lead the jihadists in the Philippines, and designated him as the emir for Southeast Asia.The video also urged aspiring members who can't go to the Middle East to fight for ISIL in the Philippines instead.
Filipino members of ISIL
Involvement of Filipino citizens in ISIL has been reported as early as 2014. According to the Daily Mail citing undisclosed Kurdish sources that a Filipino national was among the ISIL members who appeared in a beheading video of American aid worker Peter Kassig and 18 Syrian soldiers uploaded in YouTube. The Philippine military said that the report could not be verified and said that there was no ISIL recruitment in the Philippines at that time. The Department of Foreign Affairs during this time has been receiving unverified reports of Filipinos training in Iran to fight for ISIL in Syria.
In June 2016, ISIL released a video where three of its members, a Filipino, an Indonesian and a Malaysian urged aspiring members who can't go to the Middle East to fight for ISIL in the Philippines instead. In January 2017, Rappler reports that the Filipino member was identified as Mohammad Reza Kiram, a 21-year old who was the first verified member in ISIL fighting in Syria.
Affiliate groups in the Philippines
The following Philippine-based militant groups have pledged allegiance to ISIL.
Non-state opponents of ISIL in the Philippines
Aside from the Philippine government, ISIL and its affiliate groups in the Philippines has received armed opposition from other local groups in the Philippines.
The following are the list of battle and clashes involving the jihadist groups since they respectively pledged allegiance to ISIS:
- January 2015 Mamasapano clash
- 2016 Butig clashes
- April 2016 Battle of Tipo-Tipo
- Summer 2016 Sulu and Basilan Clashes
- January 2017 Kidapawan jail siege (suspected involvement)
- May 2017 Bohol clashes
- May 2017 Battle of Marawi
Related terrorist incidents
- 2014 Bukidnon bus bombing (suspected involvement of BIFF)
- 2016 Davao City bombing (suspected involvement of Maute Group)
- 2018 Isulan bombings (suspected involvement of BIFF)
- 2018 Lamitan bombing (suspected involvement of Abu Sayyaf)
Public opinion on ISIL
In a poll conducted between February 16 to May 8, 2017, the Pew Research Center says that 70% among the Filipinos questioned view ISIL as a major threat to the Philippines ahead of global climate change (65%) and cyberattacks (64%).
The chart below gives the information of casualties since the jihadist groups respectively pledged allegiance to ISIS.
|Year||Government forces||Civilians||Abu Sayyaf||Maute Group||BIFF|
|2014||27 killed, in the whole year|
|2015||44 killed(Mamasapano clash)||
||133 killed,(only in Sulu) in the whole year|
|2017||149 killed? (before May 17) 94 killed?(in the first half of the year)|
|Battle of Marawi||168 killed||87 dead||978 killed|
|Total||240+ killed||165+ dead||1681 - 1740+ killed|
Note: Some casualties from small-scale conflicts or terrorist incidents are not given.
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