Most of us are already familiar with the terror group ISIS or Islamic State that stirs violence and struck fear all over the world through their horrendous acts. In the Philippines, we know that their counterpart is the Abu Sayaff which also had long been terrorizing Mindanao.
However, the Maute group currently attacking the city of Marawi has only been active in the recent months. The local terrorist group carried out several bombings and kidnappings recently and has pledged allegiance to ISIS. They have been carrying and raising black flags and insignia.
|Photo by: Mohammad Manshawi|
Led by Abdullah Maute, the eldest of the Maute brothers, the group also calls itself Daulah Islamiyah. The Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium said that the brothers "went from petty small-time criminals to full-fledged militant activity when they created Khalifa Islamiah Mindanao in 2012."
Military Sources identify Abdullah Maute as the son of Cayamora Maute, a former senior official of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The rebel group is now undergoing peace talks with the government which Maute’s sons greatly criticized.
They were the Maute group and pro-Isis fighters in Indonesia and Malaysia.
In October 2016, a report from a Jakarta-based think tank released a warning about cross-border extremist operations traced between four Philippine terror groups with direct links. They were the Maute group and pro-Isis fighters in Indonesia and Malaysia.
One of the group’s leaders Omar Maute married an Indonesian while he was studying in Egypt. His international exposure, family ties to Bekasi, fluency in Indonesian and knowledge in social media may have led him to gain a wider international network than the Philippine government has ever suspected.
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The reports was later on confirmed by President Duterte himself in November 2016 as he stated that the Maute group has vitally connected to ISIS.
The group has caused terror since last year with its members launching attack in Lanao Del Sur. They were also involved in the Davao City night market bombing and the failed attempt to bomb the US embassy November last year.
However, the Armed Forces of the Philippines denied that the group has already reached Metro Manila, a contradicting the Philippine National Police’s earlier statement that it had already established a presence in the nation’s capital.