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Calida: 20 IS-linked groups in Mindanao

By: Rey G. Panaligan

Government lawyers told the Supreme Court yesterday there are 20 other terrorist organizations with links to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria that are operating in Mindanao.

In a memorandum, Solicitor General Jose Calida said the 20 groups – aside from Maute Group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and the Abu Sayyaf Group – have already attacked Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga, and Davao with their objective of removing Mindanao from its allegiance to the Philippine government.

Calida’s memorandum identified the 20 terror groups as the Ansar Dawiah Fi Filibbin, Rajah Solaiman Islamic Movement, Al Harakatul Islamiyah Battalion, Jama’at Ansar Khilafa, Ansharul Khilafah Philippines Battalion, Bangsamoro Justice Movement, Khilafah Islamiya Mindanao, Abu Sayyaf Group (Sulu faction), Syuful Khilafa Fi Luzon, Ma’rakah Al-Ansar Battalion;

Dawla Islamiyyah Cotabato, Dawlat Al Islamiyah Waliyatul Masrik, Ansar Al-Shariyah Battalion, Jamaah al-Tawhid wal Jihad Philippines, Abu Dujanah Battalion. Abu Khubayn Battalion, Jundallah Battalion, Abu Sadr Battalion, Jamaah Al Muhajirin wal Anshor, and Balik-Islam Group

“The survival of the State hangs in the balance,” Calida said in the memorandum.

Calida said that there were already 43 violent attacks by the 20 terror groups using mostly improvised explosive devices, harassments, and kidnappings.