• IS-inspired group hunted down in Lanao del Sur

    INSPIRED BY IS A mysterious group of radicals has emerged in Lanao del Sur and other areas in Southern Philippines that started with less than 20 members. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    INSPIRED BY IS A mysterious group of radicals has emerged in Lanao del Sur and other areas in Southern Philippines that started with less than 20 members. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    MARAWI CITY: After capturing one of their members from a recent clash in this city, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are hunting down members of another Islamic State (IS)-inspired group called Khilafah Islamiya Movement (KIM), locally known as Ghuraba, that is believed to be behind major atrocities in Southern Philippines.

    Col. Manolo Samarita, deputy commander of Marawi city-based military 103rd brigade, told The Manila Times on Saturday that operations have been intensified against the group of bandits involved in murders, kidnapping, robbery, extortion and several atrocities in this country’s lone Islamic city.

    While Samarita did not name the alleged group, he hinted the bandits were also behind the previous attack in Madalum town of Lanao del Sur. The military official said gunmen ambushed and injured an unnamed soldier at Barangay Mapandi on Wednesday.

    The lone wounded officer was able to fight back and wounded one of the attackers identified as Junaid Kiram Undac, who is under police and military security but undergoing treatment at local hospital here, he said.

    “For longest time ngayon lang nakahuli [we now captured one],” Samarita added.

    Undac’s companions, who were onboard in a white Ford Ranger pickup, escaped the clash site left and behind Undac that lead to his capture along with the recovery of an XRM motorcycle he was using.

    The family of Corporal Mamintal Madlawi, who was killed unarmed by unidentified men at Barangay Matampay in April 7, claimed ownership of the recovered XRM motorcycle, allegedly robbed from the victim after his murder.

    Sources said the new group of local jihadists believe looting things from non-Muslims are “halal” or permissible to Islam, believing they are on the stage of a jihad. This, however, is disputed by many Muslim Sunni scholars.

    Responsible for attacks
    Madalum was attacked in September 6, 2013 and claimed at least five fatalities, a soldier and four other members of the radical group Ghuraba, a Lanao-based group of the KIM-Black Flag Movement (KIM-BFM).

    Killed Ghuraba members, which local communities consider as “shaheed” or martyrs, were identified only as Abu Shaheed Dimalna and Abdulaziz alias Mocca.

    According to intelligence communities, Dimalna was among the members of the KIM-BFM tagged in the 2013 bombing of the Lim Ket Kai mall Cagayan de Oro City together with Hapidh Usman, Salahuddin Hassan, Zulkifli Bin Hir alias Marwan, Khair Mundos and leader of the KIM-BFM Humam Abdul Najid.

    Abdulaziz was also allegedly involved in the killing of American Michael Alan Turner in Cagayan de Oro City on February 2013. Dimalna is also a suspect in the American’s killing.

    Abdulaziz and Dimalna were among youth personally trained by Malaysian terrorist Marwan within the KIM-BFM groups, sources said.

    Other members of the KIM-BFM were also being eyed as behind the 2013 Cotabato bombing, a month before the Madalum clash.

    Ghuraba is headed by Najid, a Jema’ah Islamiyah affiliate and close associate of Marwan, who was neutralized in Mamasapano town of Maguindanao during the January 25 police covert operation that resulted in the killing of at least 44 police commandos, 18 Muslim rebels and five civilians.

    The group wants to establish an Islamic caliphate in the country and has pledged allegiance to the IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham or ISIS.


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