US envoy: Take reports on Isis ‘with grain of salt’ | Global News

US envoy: Take reports on Isis ‘with grain of salt’

/ 05:56 AM November 16, 2014

US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg. AFP FILE PHOTO

US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg. AFP FILE PHOTO

ZAMBOANGA CITY—US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg said here there is no confirmation about the presence of Isis (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) in the Philippines despite the use by a local terror group of the Isis flag.

“I have heard and seen those statements, but we have no confirmation about that,” Goldberg, who was here on Friday, said.


“I would urge people to take all that with the grain of salt,” he said.


He said, though, that Washington is concerned about reports of Filipinos fighting alongside Isis.

“We are all concerned about the issue of foreign fighters and of the people going to the Middle East from various countries, and again we don’t have confirmation of that from the Philippines,” he said.

“I know the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine government take it very seriously as we do and we’ll keep a close eye on it,” he added.

But then, he said that “everybody should not take these (reports) at face value.”

Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, head of the Western Mindanao Command, said what was obvious was that the Abu Sayyaf was “just riding on the popularity of the Isis.”

“So we believe it is just but a local propaganda but they don’t have direct linkage with the international group,” Guerrero said.


However, Guerrero confirmed the presence of Malaysian militant Dr. Mahmud Bin Ahmad in Basilan.

Ahmad, alias Abu Handzalah, 36, is a known recruiter for Isis in Malaysia. Julie Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: Abu Sayyaf, Acts of Terror, ISIS, Philip Goldberg, Terrorism, US embassy

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