Small Wars Journal

ISIS Recruits Fighters for the Philippines Instead of Syria

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 2:03pm

ISIS Recruits Fighters for the Philippines Instead of Syria by Robert Windrem - NBC News

A video released by ISIS asks would-be fighters to go to the Philippines instead of Syria and Iraq, the latest sign that the terror group is shifting its recruiting tactics as it loses ground to coalition forces in the Middle East.

The seven-minute, English-language video, released by the official ISIS media operation late last month, includes messages from several fighters in the Southern Philippines, and scenes from battles with government troops near the city of Marawi, including the pillaging of a Catholic church.

One of the fighters calls on Muslims in "East Asia, specifically those in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, and Singapore" to migrate and fight alongside the ISIS-linked militants in the Philippines.

A militant identified as "Abul-Yamaan from Marawi" proclaims: "Come forth to the land of jihad. Perform hijrah. Come forth to … Marawi."

U.S. intelligence officials and private sector analysts like Flashpoint Intelligence, which NBC News uses to track terrorist groups, say that Asia has become a new focus for ISIS. The terror group now sees the southern Philippine islands, where a Muslim insurgency has simmered for decades, as the best destination for Islamic militants, and is using videos and social media in both English and languages spoken in the southern Philippines to boast of its exploits and recruit fighters…

Read on.