THE Indonesian terrorist killed in an encounter with security forces in Sultan Kudarat is one of 10 jihadists with links to the Islamic State who are in the country for still unknown reasons, an intelligence source told The Standard Friday.
Sucipto Ibrahim Ali, a member of the Mujahidin Indonesia Timur, had slipped into the country with nine other foreign jihadists and were not hiding in Mindanao, the source added.
Sucipto, he added, was one of the core group members of Ansar Khilafa Philippines, along with five Malaysians, three Syrians and another
Indonesian, who sought sanctuary among local Islamists in Mindanao. He was also said to have received international funding for his operations here and in Indonesia.
Malaysian authorities have sought cooperation from their Philippine counterparts to interdict the five Malaysians linked to ISIS, who have recruited some of their citizens to fight in Syria and Iraq.
The source said Ansar Khilafa Philippines is composed of local militants from the Abu Sayyaf, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, the Rayah Solaiman Movement, and jihadists who pledged allegiance to ISIS to become soldiers of the Caliphate.
National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia had described Sucipto’s killing as a significant victory in the global fight against terrorism, but the Armed Forces on Friday dismissed the group as “lawless elements [who are just] professing ties with the terrorist organization ISIS.”
Armed Forces spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla said they have received information relating to the three Syrian nationals but they have yet to validate the report.
The military said the slain terrorists were part of the AKP group seen in a recent posted videos expressing their support to the extremists group purportedly to gain attention.
Despite the killing of the Indonesian terrorist, Padilla ruled out a link between the group and ISIS.
The source further revealed that ISIS is trying to establish a regional cell in Southeast Asia as part of its plan to launch operations worldwide.
“ISIS has the capacity to conduct operations [here] on the level of sophistication that they showed in Europe, Africa and the Middle East,” the source said.
He cited the attack of six ISIS suicide commandos in France that left 130 dead, the hotel assault in Mali, in West Africa killing 20 people and Tunisia that killed 13 people, including the suicide bomber.
Padilla said operations would continue against “lawless elements” in Sultan Kudarat.
Troops killed Sucipto and seven jihadists in a clash reported Thursday. Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Maj. Felimon Tan Jr. said the eight killed were members of the Ansar Al Khalifa, an ISIS terror cell operating in Mindanao.
The military is still verifying if the slain Indonesian was indeed Sucipto, a member of the Mujahidin Indonesia Timur, which has direct links to the ISIS. With PNA
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