ISIS recruits members in PHL, says US official

(Eagle News) — The Islamic State (ISIS) is looking for new members to recruit and new safe havens worldwide, according to an official of the US State Department.

“ISIS in particular has looked at finding new safe havens in terms of land as well and in that aspect they have looked very strongly at Southeast Asia, in particular Southern Philippines,” US State Department’s Director for the Office of Countering Violent Extremism, Irfan Saeed said in an interview.

“And they are looking at drivers that exist across Southeast Asia, across this part of the world, even looking into the Rohingya crisis in Burma as a potential driver. So, there is a focus across Southeast Asia that terrorists are looking at these as a possible narrative, and I think we have to be aware of that, so we can counter it,” Mr. Saeed also said.

Meanwhile, the top Philippine defense department official assured that the government is continuously monitoring the areas where ISIS remnants can possibly hide and that it will do everything to get them all.

“They will be committing a huge mistake if they decide to come because we are actively pursuing the remnants of the ISIS in Mindanao. And we will not stop until we got them all,” Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana also said in a statement.