- Maute Group remnants are looking for a new base
- The group still intends to create an ISIS caliphate in the country
- Romeo Brawner, Jr. said the military is prepared to stop ISIS-inspired groups from attacking another city
The remnants of the Maute Group are searching for a new base where they could set up a caliphate of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia, according to a military official.
“They have not abandoned their objective to create a caliphate in Southeast Asia. Mindanao is the most fertile ground,” Colonel Romeo, Jr. Brawner, deputy commander of Joint Task Force Ranao, said.
The gunmen, according to Journal Online, were able to recruit about 200 new fighters.
Earlier, Murad Ebrahim, the chairman of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), warned of possible a*****s by ISIS-inspired groups in Mindanao. He said the cities of Iligan and Cotabato are possible targets of the extremists.
Following Murad’s warning, Col. Brawner said the military is prepared for another urban warfare and to stop ISIS-inspired groups from attacking another city.
“We are now reorganizing our units, we are re-equipping and retraining. So from the side of the Armed Forces, handa po kami [we are ready] for another Marawi siege whether it happens in Marawi or elsewhere,” Brawner said at the Bangon Marawi press briefing on Friday, February 23.
Brawner added that the military expects the help of the MILF and other groups in countering violent extremism.