Duterte fears ‘lone wolf attacks’ after Maute defeat
The end of hostilities in Marawi should not give Filipinos a false sense of security, with President Duterte himself saying on Thursday night that he himself fears the extremists would resort to lone wolf attacks after they were defeated in their siege of Marawi.
Mr. Duterte said terrorism would always be there and he does not think it would be erased in just five to seven years, “until such time that the ideology of destruction and killing is part of the grey matter between the ears of the terrorists.”
“Even I am afraid, in the sense that they might opt for lone wolf [attacks] again. They have tried massive violent activity and they were defeated,” Mr. Duterte said at the Philippine Professional Summit at the Manila Hotel.
“They might, I said, opt for something more than just like a similar violent experimentation with a lone wolf, and the trucks you plow in, drive into a crowd and just kill anybody,” he added.
The five-month siege of Marawi ended recently, following the killing of the top leaders of the Islamic State-allied extremist groups and that of the remaining stragglers. The fighting left most of the city in ruins.
Mr. Duterte on Thursday also reminded Filipinos to be vigilant and remain aware that extremism is a problem not just in the Philippines, but in other parts of the world.
“Retaliation and vengeance is not farfetched, so that you might want to just also be ready, not at this time, but I said, raise your awareness of how dangerous the world is today. Even in New York and wherever you go,” he said.
“I think the safest place to visit now would be South America. Europe is a very dangerous place to go. You would not know if it’s a lone wolf or a kind of explosives. You won’t be able to read it,” he added.
In the Philippines, the problems of terrorism and extremism plague the south.
“We have to decide at some point, I hope it would not be during my time, that we will just have to fight it out tooth and nail, no quarters given, no quarters asked. We cannot live in this world always and we can never be attuned to this kind of life of danger,” he said.
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