by Aaron B. Recuenco
The police intelligence community has monitored the entry of about 10 foreigners who are believed to have links with foreign terror groups and who are in the country to train with local extremist groups in Mindanao.
Director General Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the foreigners came from different countries and arrived here on various dates.
He admitted that foreigners who come from neighboring countries are difficult to track down because of the similarity of their physical features with those of the locals.
“They look like Filipinos too and when they learn our language or even the ethnic dialects, that’s what makes it difficult to distinguish them from Filipinos,” said Dela Rosa.
Dela Rosa made the statement after the death of a Sudanese in a follow-up operation against the remnants of the Al Khalifa Philippines in Maasim town, Sarangani, on Saturday.
The Sudanese was identified as a certain Abu Naila who was killed after he allegedly tried to fight off the government troopers. Also killed was a local woman identified only as Kadija.
The operation was part of a follow-up operation in Kiamba town on Thursday that left AKP leader Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, alias Tokboy, dead, and his three men arrested.
TRAINING BEFORE DEPLOYMENT
Reports reaching the police intelligence community revealed that the foreigners would go to the Philippines for their training before they are deployed to other countries.
The slain Sudanese was supposed to finish his training with the AKP before his deployment to Syria, reports said.
NO STRONG LINK
Despite the apparent links of AKP and other terror groups in Mindanao with ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), security officials denied that there exists a strong link between the international terror group and local extremist groups.
Dela Rosa, however, said that they have been continuously intensifying their intelligence to monitor terror threats.
“We are monitoring them, we are on guard,” he said.
Various armed groups in Mindanao have been reported to have a history of alliance with international terror groups. The al-Qaida group then under Osama bin Laden was being linked then to various local armed groups which included the Abu Sayyaf.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is targeting to destroy the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and other terrorist and lawless groups within a six-month time frame.
The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) are still holding 27 hostages – one German, one Dutch, one Korean, six Vietnamese, five Malaysians, four Indonesians and nine Filipinos in Sulu and Basilan. (With a report from Francis T. Wakefield)
Tags: Abu Sayyaf Group, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Intel monitors 10 foreigners here for training with local extremists, Manila Bulletin, mb.com.ph, Mindanao, News today, Philippine National Police, Philippine news, police intelligence community, Ronald Dela Rosa