05 Oct The ‘Muashasin’, Newly Founded ISIS-Style Group of Muslim Preachers in Southern Mindanao
A new revolutionary group has been recently formed in Southern Mindanao which is being considered as a counterpart of the notorious Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Calling themselves the ‘Muashasin’ which is an Arabic term for “founders”, five radical Muslim religious preachers separated from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a group that was founded in late 2010 by Ustadz Ameril Ombra Kato. This was confirmed by local officials in three towns in Maguindanao, adding that other followers of BIFF also broke out of the faction.
The said radical group have pledged allegiance to the ISIS and even adopted the infamous black flag as their revolutionary banner.
In a press statement that was distributed by the BIFF leadership, clerics Abdulmalik Esmael, Ansari Yuno, Bashir Ungab, Hassan, and Nasser Adil are the ones who left the faction and now have formed the group allied with the ISIS.
According to some local residents, Salahudin and Esmael who are of Maguindanaoan lineage were trained by Zulkifli bin Hir, slain Malaysian terrorist known as Marwan, in manufacturing and handling of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Mamasapano, s town southwest of Maguindanao.
“They are no longer with the BIFF and the BIFF has nothing to do with their activities now,” said Abu Misry Mama, spokesman of BIFF.
As stated by some relatives, the reason why the five Muslim preachers left BIFF is they have forged alliances with the Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) in Sulu and the Maute group in Lanao del Sur’s first district. Brothers Abdullah and Omar Maute head the group who both studied Islamic theology while being employed as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the United Arab Emirates before establishing the “black flag movement” in Lanao del Sur.
Source: The Manila Times