Islamic State, or Daesh, released a video early on Wednesday in an attempt to recruit radical fighters in the Philippines and declaring war on the country.
Rita Katz, director of SITE Intelligence Group tracking the activities of IS, said the video targeting the Philippines was in five languages: Arabic, English, Filipino, Indonesian and Malay.
Philippine military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the public should refrain from sharing and distributing the video, saying its values are “inhuman and evil”.
“People should not be bothered by this because it’s part of the propaganda they are propagating. Let’s not dignify this. Let’s do what is right, which is to delete it and don’t pass it to others.”
Security officials denied the presence of IS fighters in the country, somehow.
Screenshots of the video taken by the agency show Filipino, Indonesian and Malaysian fighters urging their countrymen to join their ranks in Syria. But for those who could not reach the Middle East, the group also gave them an alternative.
“If you can’t get to Syria, ‘join the muhajideen in the Philippines’,” the group said.
The nation is fighting the Moro conflict, an ongoing insurgency on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines.
In 1969, political tensions and open hostilities developed between the Government and Moro Muslim rebel groups. The Moro Insurgency was triggered by the Jabidah massacre, which saw the killing of 60 Filipino Muslim commandos on a planned operation to reclaim the eastern part of the Malaysian state of Sabah.
In response, the University professor Nur Misuari established the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), an armed insurgent group that was committed to establishing an independent Mindanao. Over the successive years, the MNLF has splintered into several different groups including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which wanted to establish an Islamic state within the Philippines. The Moro Insurgency is rooted in a long history of resistance by the Bangsamoro people against foreign rule, dating back to the American annexation of the Philippines in 1899. Since then, Moro resistance has persisted against the Philippine government.