Islamic Terrorism in Southeast Asia

At the beginning of the battle that has raged for the past 12 days in Marawi City at the southern end of the Philippines, dozens of Islamist militants stormed its prison, overwhelming the guards.

“They said ‘surrender the Christians’,” said Faridah P. Ali, an assistant director of the regional prison authority. “We only had one Christian staff member so we put him with the inmates so he wouldn’t be noticed,” he said.

Fighters from the Maute group, which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS), menaced the guards and shouted at prisoners: but no one gave up the Christian man. “When they freed the inmates, he got free,” said Ali.

It was a brief moment of cheer, but over the next few hours the militants took control of most of the city, attacked the police station and stole weapons and ammunition, and set up roadblocks and positioned snipers on buildings at key approaches. The assault has already led to the death of almost 180 people and the vast majority of Marawi’s population of about 200,000 has fled.

The seizing of the city by Maute and its allies on the island of Mindanao is the biggest warning yet that the Islamic State is building a base in Southeast Asia and bringing the brutal tactics seen in Iraq and Syria in recent years to the region. 

Defense and other government officials from within the region told Reuters evidence is mounting that this was a sophisticated plot to bring forces from different groups who support the Islamic State together to take control of Marawi.

The presence of foreigners – intelligence sources say the fighters have included militants from as far away as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Chechnya and Morocco – alongside locals in Marawi, has particularly alarmed security officials.

For some time, governments in Southeast Asia have been worried about what happens when battle-hardened Islamic State fighters from their countries return home as the group loses ground in the Middle East, and now they have added concerns about the region becoming a magnet for foreign jihadis.

“If we do nothing, they get a foothold in this region,” said Hishammuddin Hussein, the defence minister of neighboring Malaysia.

  • ontario john

    At least the Saturday Toronto Star has spoken out, and asked for an apology from the evils of a religion. They in their editorial, wants an apology from……the Catholic church. Its a good thing islam doesn’t do anything wrong, or I’m sure the Star would say something.

  • Islamic theology at work.

    Without Islamic reformation, expect more of the same.

    RICO M3 – How to jump start an Islamic reformation from the USA

  • Gary

    In 1931, few people thought that the false-flag attack by japan on China in Manchuri was a serious problem that would lead to Japan’s 14 year barbaric slaughter across south Asia to kill close to 12,000,000 people where it took 2 A-bombs to stop them.
    Now islam is slaughtering its way across the globe thanks to the brain-dead Liberals that keep telling us that it’s a “few” bad apples and that 99% of the muslims are peaceful .
    I still waiting for Justin’s list of all those islamic nations where the 99% live because 11 nation sanction killings gays while 16 nation ban israeli’s from entering and then we have all of the 56 OIC’s that us the same Quran that calls for killing the 6 billion non-muslims on Earth if they don’t convert to iislam.

    It’s pretty tough to hide 99% of 1.6 billion muslims that are peaceful.

  • canminuteman

    This will happen soon enough in Europe or north America. They have the numbers. If they get the logistical support they could easily mount battalion/brigade sized operations.