New terror group rises in Mindanao

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A new group of terrorists has emerged in Mindanao, the military said on Wednesday.

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According to an official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), at least 70 armed members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have broken away from the bandit group and formed a new faction that joined the Asian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).

Called the Justice Islamic Movement (JIM), the group reportedly cut ties with the BIFF in November 2013, but the military confirmed that only recently.

Col. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesperson, said that based on reports, JIM is being led by Mohammad Tambako, who was earlier tagged by the military as the coddler of Filipino bomb-maker Abdul Basit Usman.

Usman was one of the targets of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (SAF) operation in Mamasapano, Maguinadanao, that led to the killing of 44 police commandos by the BIFF and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on January 25.

The AFP said four other suspected foreign terrorists are in the company of Tambako and his men.

“Reports we have received revealed that the BIFF does not see eye to eye with the group of Tambako,” Padilla said in a news conference on Wednesday.

Government forces are conducting an all-out offensive against the BIFF in Maguindanao and North Cotabato in Mindanao in southern Philippines.

When asked where the JIM is holed up, Padilla said the group is operating in the same areas where the BIFF operates.

He played down insinuations that JIM was just a creation of the military to muddle the issue on the Mamasapano massacre.

“Ganyan naman sa Mindanao, kapag may nagkagalit naghihiwalay [That’s how they are in Mindanao, if they have misunderstandings, they part ways],” Padilla said.

According to him, Tambako was a former member of the Moro National Liberation Front who joined the MILF, later the BIFF, and now the JIM.

Col. Melquiades Feliciano, commander of the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade, earlier said Usman is being coddled by notorious bandits from two different BIFF groups that included Tambako, a BIFF leader who had carried out armed atrocities against civilians in Maguindanao and North Cotabato.

A BIFF commander identified as Kagi Karialan leads another group with at least 100-armed members, the military said.

Karialan was said to have led the attack on MILF and civilian communities in Kabasalan and Bulol, both in Pikit, North Cotabato, on two separate occasions, displacing at least 25,000 people.

On Sunday, Tambako’s camp was seized by government troops. Recovered from the camp were assorted war materials including bomb-making equipment.

Maj. Gen. Edmundo Pangilian, chief of the 6th Infantry Division, confirmed that there is an existing Islamic radicalization targeting people in Maguindanao.

He said Usman is leading the group that has been spreading radicalism.
Pangilinan said the military had encountered BIFF’s non-fighters including children as young as 10 years old in previous operations against the group.

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11 Comments

  1. Rudy Porugal on

    The rising of terrorist group in the Philippines will always be a problem if our Armed Forces of the Philippines remain the way it is…weak and under armed. Modernize our AFP. Make it strong and well financed to handle any group of private armies. Supply our Philippine Navy with enough means to navigate our waters. Make our PNP ten times stronger of what we have today. We have the man power. What we don’t have is the pollitical will to make it happen.

  2. Tama yung sinabi ni Col. Padilla na ““Ganyan naman sa Mindanao, kapag may nagkagalit naghihiwalay”… kaya kahit na may BBL di pa rin tatahimik ang Mindanao kasi nga di natatapos ang away-away nila at maraming grupo at factionalism sa kanila mismo…. example: MILF, MNLF, Abu Sayaf, JI, at ngayon JIM atbp..

  3. unbelievable! segurong gawa gawa lang ito ng mga opisyal na gustong lalong litohin ang sitwasyon sa mindanao. dito nga lang sa maguindanao, ginagamit na ng army ang artillery kahit pa walang mga rebeldeng grupong nakita ang mga forward observes (FO). tapos mag claim na merong 20 biff na nasawi kahit walang pruweba! nauubos lang ang bala ng mga kanyon eh kahit isang biff na duling walang tinamaan. magpakatotoo kayo! lokohin ninyo ang commander ninyong p@n0t!

  4. AFP now using artillery and attack helicopter against BIFF and never use it to rescue the SAF commandos.Director Napenas was relieve not because of the firefight because he refuse to standdown when ordered not use his reserve to rescue the trap SAF.When Napenas was relieve the reserve standdown and stop thier rescue operation thats why the lone survivor on 55th SAF start kicking them and telling them why you guys never rescued us.

  5. unbelievable that aquino has always alibis for his scripted games when it get busted.

  6. This info from AFP iintel is unreliable and mere propaganda to divert the attention away from thee MILF/BIFFmama that slaughtered the 44SAF. The AFP is like a cat that is chasing the shadow of the mice, the shadow he created himself in his own imagination. The AFP iintel is lousy and has become a bunch of political propagandists, fortunetellers and children story-tellers, could not even gather good intel on the position of the distressed SAF given 11 hours working time. Tambako is not a particiipant of the 44SAF slaughter, he has returned to MNLF already and is already neutralized. Why is AFP running after Tambako? The killers of the 44SAF are the MILF and BIFFmama, why is AFP not running after these two, politicized AFP?

  7. Ruben V. Calip on

    All of these developments have directly or indirectly been abetted by the MILF’s close ties to the intelligence and special operations agencies of Malaysia, which no one notices is actually supported by British intelligence also.

  8. Samuel Santos on

    Good news! Let these Liberation Front splinter groups increase and fight among each other.

  9. sonny dela cruz on

    Ganyan ba ang mga klase ng tao na ang gobierno ay inaaksayan ng panahon na peace talks? Anong klasing peace talks yan kung sila mismo ay walang peace, ano ang gagawin nila sa mga hindi moro kung magkaroon sila ng Bangsamoro. Put BBL in the trash can. Its STINKS.

  10. Pete Gabriel on

    Here is the more reason that we need not pass this Bangsamoro law. This knucleheads can not even get along with their own. All this MNLF, MILF, BIIF,JI are nothing but outlaws. What needs to happen is for the Philippine government to get their act together, junk this Bangsamoro nonsense, starts legislating laws, start administering the laws, start executing the laws that is equitable, fair, transparent for the well being of all Filipinos that it is designed to care for.