By Aaron Recuenco
The police intelligence community has monitored the entry of five to 10 foreigners allegedly linked to foreign terror groups, with the purpose of training local extremist groups in Mindanao.
PNP director general Ronald dela Rosa said the foreigners came from different countries and arrived in various dates.
Those who arrived include foreigners from neighboring countries. Dela Rosa admitted they are the ones difficult to track down as they can blend in with 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 Khalifah Philippines in Maasim town of Sarangani on Saturday.
The Sudanese, identified as a certain Abu Naila, was killed after he allegedly tried to fight off the soldiers. Also killed was a local woman identified only as Kadija.
The operation was part of the follow-up operation in Kiamba on Thursday that led to the death of AKP leader Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, alias Tokboy, and the arrest of his three men.
Reports reaching the police intelligence community revealed that the foreigners would go to the Philippines for their training before they are deployed in other countries.
In the case of the Sudanese, he was supposed to finish his training with AKP before his deployment to Syria.
Despite the apparent links of AKP and other terror groups in Mindanao to the self-proclaimed Islamic State, security officials denied strong links between the international terror group and local extremist groups already exist.
But Dela Rosa said the authorities been continuously intensifying their intelligence to monitor terror threats. “We are monitoring them, we are on guard.”
Various armed groups in Mindanao have a history of alliance with international terror groups. At the height of the Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda, it was being linked then to various armed groups such as the Abu Sayyaf.