Does the recent ISIS-claimed killings in Philippines signal the spreading tentacle of Islamic State in South East Asia.
By Asian Review Staff
The Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte at the Laoag International Airport. (PGIN Photo / Alaric A. Yanos)
bomb explosion that killed two people of the muslim community in Manila is a
consequence of personal feud, claimed Philippines authority. However, the
Islamic State has taken responsibility for this.
In a statement
by the Metropolitian Manila police, it was said that the bombing was probably
resultant of a personal feud. On the other hand, the Islamic State group,
through its Aamaq media arm, claimed responsibility for the Quiapo explosion,
saying in a brief statement that ‘five shiites have been killed and six others
injured by detonating an explosive device by the Islamic State fighters in
central Manila’. This is preceded by an earlier bombing in the south in 2015
and two local shiites were killed in an attack in the same year near Manila.
ISIS, in the
past has expanded its sphere of influence in the Asian region, particularly
south-east Asia prominently. Earlier, Australia has shown deep concern on the
possibility of Islamic State declaring a ‘caliphate’ in the southern
Philippines as the extremist group is forced out of the Middle East, as
remarked by the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
Philippines has emerged as a breeding ground for extremist groups owing largely
to the easy flow of weapons and instability in the domestic realm. ‘ISIS’s
activities in the region is slated to grow rampantly in 2017’, a
counter-terrorism analyst Rohan Gunaratna has remarked earlier.
As parts of
the south east Asia continues to struggle relentlessly against Islamic
militancy, including from Indonesia and Malaysia, thousands have flocked to
join ISIS in Iraq and Syria. This region witnessed its first ISIS-linked attack
in January last year when extremists launched a deadly suicide bombing and gun
attack in Jakarta. In Philippines several jihadi commanders have been seen
urging FIlipinos to travel to Syria to join ISIS.
State is proactive in the southern most island region of Mindanao in
Philippines. An autonomous region Mindanao hosts frequent religious tensions
with most other Catholic islands. Islamic extremists in Mindanao have made
attempts to overthrow the government there, including by the unofficial
affiliate of the Islamic State called ‘Abu Sayyaf’. In a report by the
International Business times, senior Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon have
confirmed their allegiance to ISIS in a video released in the summer of 2014.
the Islamic State in Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has warned to
suspend habaes corpus -- a legal procedure of the government that keeps it from
holding a citizen indefinitely without producing any cause. As the island state
is punctuated with umpteen social hazards - including the infectious drug
problem -- in the Presidency of Duterte, more than 5,600 have been killed and
many gunned down in executions administered by ruthless vigilantes. In this
scenario, a sustainable cure for rising extremism has to be through persistent
efforts to allow socio-economic development and continuance of universal human
The views expressed here are those of the author alone and not the Asia Council.