THE EMERGENCE OF ISIS IN THE PHILIPPINES
Amadar, Edwin Enriquez
Tuttle, Robert W.
Gregg, Heather S.
Cunningham, Daniel T.
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In May 2017, the Islamic State Philippines (IS-P) engaged the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the city of Marawi in what became a violent, five-month battle that resulted in the death of 165 Filipino soldiers and policemen, 920 militants, and over 47 civilians, along with the near total destruction of the city. This thesis aims to understand the conditions that led to the battle of Marawi, including which insurgent groups in Mindanao pledged the bayat to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)—the oath of allegiance—and formed IS-P, and the resources these groups gained by aligning with ISIS. Using qualitative methods and visual analytics, the study reveals that ISIS gained a foothold in Mindanao by capitalizing on pre-existing Muslim insurgent groups that have historic grievances against the government. ISIS also brought important resources to the region, including foreign fighters, funding, social media support, and new tactics, techniques, and procedures. Ultimately, although the AFP ended the fighting in Marawi and eliminated two key insurgent leaders, the groups that formed IS-P and the underlying grievances still remain in Mindanao.
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