Lanao Del Sur

Military on alert as Maute resumes recruitment in Lanao del Sur

Ferdinandh Cabrera
Military on alert as Maute resumes recruitment in Lanao del Sur

SECURITY. The military sets up a roadblock on a road in Marogong, Lanao del Sur, following the sighting of several dozen Maute Group members in the town.

courtesy of Crisbelle Lorenzo

Soldiers find the terrorist group's weeks-old training camp and bomb-making facility in a forested area in Marogong, Lanao del Sur

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Government troops stepped up military operations in Lanao del Sur province where the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group has been recruiting new members again.

Soldiers from the Army and 1st Marine Brigade found the group’s weeks-old training camp and bomb-making facility in a forested area in Marogong, Lanao del Sur, Joint Task Force-Central commander Major General Roy Galido said on Sunday, December 11.

The military said the new head of the terrorist organization, Faharudin Hadji Satar, also known as Abu Zacariah, had a hand in setting up the Lanao del Sur training camp and bomb-making facility.

Satar, according to the military, is the ISIS emir in Southeast Asia.

The task force said as many as 40 members of the Maute Group-Dawlah Islamiyah were monitored in the area.

Galido said some were believed to be remnants of the terrorist group government forces fought against in Marawi City in 2017 while others were recruits receiving training.

The military said the Maute Group included teenage-looking members, indicating that the terrorist group has been recruiting young members.

The Maute camp was set up about three weeks ago, he said.

Galido said the Maute camp was located in the secluded area in Marogong following weeks of military operations.

He said security measures were scaled up in Lanao del Sur, especially in areas where members of the group could escape to other provinces.

Galido appealed to Lanao del Sur officials and residents to help.

He said, “We have to help each other to keep radicalism from proliferating. This is important because if it proliferates, then we will have a bigger problem or worse, see something like what happened in Marawi. Let’s keep our youth from getting recruited,” he said.

In 2017, Marawi City was destroyed after five months of fighting between the military and the Maute Group.

The Duterte administration said it had no choice because the Maute Group had attempted to establish a caliphate in the predominantly Muslim city. – Rappler.com

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