by, AFP | ABC Australia | h/t Glen Roberts @ Trop
At least seven Christian farmers have been
killed [murdered] as Muslim guerrillas launched a series of attacks in the troubled southern Philippines, the military says.
The fighters of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) seized the seven and then
killed [murdered] them in a series of raids on the island of Mindanao where Christian-Muslim conflicts have seethed for decades.
About 150 fighters of the BIFF launched assaults in different, mainly-Christian, towns before dawn, local military commander Colonel Ricky Bunayog said.
“They abducted farmers and then
killed [murdered] them. When we attempted to recover their bodies, they fired on us,” he said in the southern town of Tukuran, one of the the group’s targets.
He said that four of the guerrillas were reportedly also slain in the fighting about 775 kilometres south of Manila but villagers said their bodies were carried off by their comrades.
The attackers had since dispersed but the military was planning a “counter-action,” Mr Bunayog said, although he would not disclose details.
BIFF spokesman Abu Misry Mama confirmed they were behind the attacks, saying it was over a land dispute. He would not elaborate.
In Manila, military spokesman Colonel Restituto Padilla said the guerrillas may have launched the attack “to make a statement,” ahead of the Christian holiday of Christmas.
The Philippines is overwhelmingly Christian but has a Muslim minority that claims the south as their homeland.
The BIFF split from the main Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), in 2008.
It has opposed a peace process between the Government and the MILF for the creation of a Muslim autonomous area in the south and has vowed to keep fighting for a separate Islamic State (IS).
Last year, the BIFF uploaded clips on YouTube showing one of its leaders pledging support for the IS organisation, the jihadist group that has seized a large swathe of territory in Iraq and Syria.
This is the BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters)
The BIFF and the MILF are a large and growing force of evil in the Philippines.
Notice how many child terrorist fighters they use (exploit)?
by, Sam Prince | Heavy.com
A new video purportedly released by the Islamic State shows Filipino jihadists training in military exercises in the jungles of Mindanao. The video was released on December 20, 2015 and is titled simply “Training Camp.”
Video courtesy of: Heavy.com
Mindanao has been a place of Islamic tension since the 1960s when political tensions and open hostilities developed between the government of the Philippines and Muslim rebel groups. ISIS is just the latest in a long history of Islamists.
Islam is the Philippines’ second largest religion after Catholicism. It is mainly practiced in the southernmost island of the three island nation, called Mindanao. Mindanao is an autonomous region of the Philippines, mainly due to religious tension with the other majority Catholic islands. Some extremists there are attempting to overthrow the government and join the Islamic State’s “caliphate.”
Mandatory evacuation of 13,000 Filipinos from Libya ensues
by, Ivy Saunar | Solar News
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed on Monday (July 21) that a Filipino construction worker in Libya has been beheaded supposedly for being a non-Muslim.
DFA spokesperson Charles Jose said the victim was forcefully taken on July 15 when militants found out that he was a Christian.
Jose added the militants even tried to ask for ransom amounting to about $160,000 or nearly P7 million.
But when the employer of the Filipino worker negotiated with the militants, the abductors referred the company to a hospital in Benghazi instead.
It was only Sunday (July 20) when it was discovered that the Filipino had already been beheaded and the remains were already in an advanced stage of decomposition at the hospital.
The DFA declined to disclose the identity of the victim but had already informed his family about the incident.
Libya is under DFA’s Alert Level 4 entailing a mandatory evacuation for 13,000 Filipinos due to the country’s extremely unstable political and security situation.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed that a Filipino worker was abducted and beheaded in Libya. DFA asks Overseas Foreign Workers (OFW’s) in Libya to go home immediately.
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Filipina Nurse Abducted and Gang-Raped by Muslims in Libya
by, Ludovica Iaccino | International Business Times (IBT) | h/t David Wood @ Answering Muslims
A Filipino nurse has been kidnapped and gang-raped in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
The woman was seized outside her residence on Wednesday and taken to an unknown location, where she was sexually abused by up to six men, the Philippines’ Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose told reporters.
She was released about two hours later and taken to hospital for treatment.
Following the latest incident, the Filipino government called for the evacuation of its 13,000 citizens in Libya, which has been rocked by violence in the last few months.
“We reiterate our call to our remaining nationals in Libya to immediately get in touch with the Philippine embassy in Tripoli and register for repatriation,” said a foreign department advisory note issued on Thursday.
Libyan rebels have been fighting against government forces over the control of oil production. Therebels seized several ports last year and threatened to start selling oil independently unless they obtain a greater share of oil revenues and autonomy from Tripoli.
The fire was started after one of the tanks was hit by a rocket. The state-owned National Oil Corp (NOC) warned of the possibility of an environmental disaster.
Shortly after, the extremists declared Benghazi an “Islamic Emirate”, claiming total control of the city.
The Libyan government has been struggling to contain the rebels’ insurgence since leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011.
source (1st article)
source (2nd article)
by, Lindsay Murdoch and Saffron Howden | The Queanbeyan Age | h/t Jon
Australian religious extremist Musa Cerantonio has been arrested in the Philippines after boasting he had travelled to the Middle East to join jihadists.
The arrest of 29-year-old Melbourne-born Mr Cerantonio on the island of Cebu early Friday morning is a coup for Western intelligence agencies which have named him as one of the top two influential jihadist “inspirations” for fighters in Syria and Iraq.
Mr Cerantonio had announced on Twitter earlier this month that he had made it successfully to the Levant – presumably either Syria or Iraq – after leaving the Philippines where he was believed to be in hiding.
But Philippine police, who said they had been tracking him for a week, believed Mr Cerantonio had been in the Philippines for about a year.
Mr Cerantonio tweeted he was leaving the Philippines to join fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which began their march to try to capture Iraq’s capital in early June.
”Al-Hamdulillah (Thanks to God) I have arrived in the land of Khilafah (caliphate) in Ash-Sham (the Levant)! May Allah honour all Muslims during this blessed time with His obedience,” he wrote on Twitter.
His arrival in the Middle East would have been a blow to Australian authorities who were reportedly hoping to issue a warrant for Mr Cerantonio’s arrest.
The Australian Federal Police have been investigating the former Catholic convert to Islam and pursuing possible charges under Australia’s Foreign Incursions Act, which prohibits fighting with foreign paramilitary organisations, including recruiting others.
Mr Cerantonio has previously used Facebook to urge Muslims to kill Western leaders.
Police and immigration agents stormed a village outside Cebu to arrest Mr Cerantonio who was with a Filipino woman who was also wanted for questioning.
Police said they recovered several SIM cards, mobile telephones electronic devices and cash during the operation. Cerantonio and a Filipino woman also had their passports and more than 14,000 Philippine pesos in cash, as well as other money in different currencies, the website said.
Mr Cerantonio was being flown to Manila where he was expected to undergo questioning at the Philippine National Police headquarters in Quezon City.
A warrant for his arrest had earlier been issued by Philippine police.
Australian ISIS member, Musa Cerantonio.
Police Senior Superintendent Conrado Capa said arresting police initially found no evidence linking Mr Cerantonio to terrorism or any terror group.
“The arrest was based on a plain and simple serving of warrant of deportation issued by the Bureau of Immigration,” Superintendent Capa.said.
However, Superintendent Capa said investigators will thoroughly examine the contents of the mobile phones and the sim cards seized from him to determine his local contacts and to check if he already has followers in Cebu.
Also arrested during the raid was Filipino Jean Navarro Montayre, 32, who was wanted by police for questioning on a charge unrelated to Mr Certantonio.
The Australian Federal Police are likely to seek Mr Cerantonio’s extradition to Australia where he is the subject of investigations.
“The AFP is aware that Philippine authorities have taken action in relation to Musa Cerantonio which may result in his return to Australia,” the police said in a statement.
“As a matter of long-standing practice, the AFP does not confirm or deny whether it is investigating particular individuals, nor does it provide detailed commentary on intelligence and security matters.
“As this is an ongoing matter for Philippine authorities, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”