Terror group threatens PH Muslim clerics
COTABATO CITY — A homegrown terror group that identifies itself as an affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) had warned Filipino Muslim clerics that they, too, would be considered as targets if they supported the government’s antiterror campaign.
The warning was made through an e-mail addressed to officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) by the group Dawla Islamiyah (DI), the name adopted by the Maute Group, and sent in time for a regional antiterror summit last week, according to Laisa Masuhud Alamia, executive secretary of the ARMM government.
DI had pledged loyalty to IS and support for the Iraq and Syria-based terror network’s objective of forming a global Islamic caliphate.
In its e-mail, DI also urged Filipino Muslims who have ulama (Islamic preacher) relatives to “warn your parents, brothers and children” against participation in the antiterror summit.
“Because if something happens to them along the way or in the end, don’t tell us you were not warned,” the DI e-mail said.
The tightly secured summit ended without an untoward incident. Some Muslim clerics had also attended another antiterror summit here that ended on Friday.
Noor Hafizullah Abdullah, interior secretary of the ARMM government, said Filipino Muslim leaders should not be cowed by the DI threat.
“Good must prevail over evil and we have to unite to protect our communities from the threat,” Abdullah said. —CHARLIE C. SEÑASE
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