ISIS Extending Its Reach Into Philippines ’Will Mean Bloody Encounters,’ Filipino Official Says Following Report
by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Filipino authorities are on high alert following a report from intelligence services that ISIS is planning to target Roman Catholic churches in the north of the country, extending its reach beyond the Islamist strongholds of the south.
According to the intelligence, at least one of the Sri Lankan bombers involved in that country’s Easter Sunday attacks in April has been training suicide bombers to carry out a terrorist plot in Luzon, a highly populated island in the northern Philippines that includes the capital, Manila.
“The president said that he was afraid that this ISIS group would reach here. The fear and apprehension will always be there for as long as terrorism led by this godless group is still present,” said Salvador Panelo, President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman, on August 6th.
ISIS, after it was declared defeated in Syria by President Trump in December, experienced a resurgence in Sri Lanka in April when terrorists killed over 250 people on Easter Sunday, and in Jolo, the south Philippines in January when it claimed responsibility for more than 20 deaths at a Roman Catholic Cathedral.
Following the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his first video appearance in five years in an apparent gesture that the group was alive and well.