US keeping an eye on ISIS threat in PH, SE Asia
The US is closely monitoring the threat of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Philippines and in the entire Southeast Asian region.
US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg said in a forum on Wednesday that they are on guard against groups that have claimed links with the ISIS.
“We all have to be on guard against groups that pledge allegiance to ISIS, that say they want involvement in the kinds of activities and ideology represented by the ISIS,” he said.
Among the local groups that have pledged allegiance to the ISIS are Abu Sayyaf, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and Ansar al-Khalifa.
Videos of such groups have been posted online, taking an oath and announcing their support to ISIS.
“We are watching that, as is the Philippines very closely, and we need to do so to make sure that whatever rhetorical support, or whatever happening behind the scenes, is not something that becomes a danger to the Philippines or the region,” Goldberg said.
“We all have to be on guard against groups that pledge allegiance to ISIS, that say they want involvement in the kinds of activities and ideology represented by the ISIS,”
He also acknowledged that social media is one of the tools where ISIS can expand beyond its borders.
“What we can tell you is that the groups that pledge allegiance will be in the sights of all of us,” Goldberg said.
He justified that the Philippines and US cooperate on counterterrorism and share information because of threats like these.
ISIS, an international terror organization, is known for its propaganda and influence, with videos of its brutal tactics, such as bombings, stoning and beheadings, posted on the Internet. RAM
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