Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 - Terrorist Safe Havens: The Southern Philippines

The Philippines' geographical composition, with more than 7,500 islands, made it difficult for the central government to maintain a presence in all areas. Counterterrorism operations have succeeded in isolating the geographic influence and largely constraining the activities of transnational terrorist groups to the south. Members of numerous groups present in Mindanao have pledged allegiance to ISIS, including parts of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), the Dawlah Islamiyah Lanao (DIL) – commonly referred to as the Maute Group – and Ansar-al Khalifah Philippines. The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and other splinter groups were also present in large areas of Mindanao.


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