DFAT wants time to answer our query on Australian taxpayers pay $38M to fund Muslim education in a province claimed by the Islamic State
DFAT has acknowledged our note and asked for our deadline for an answer - I've suggested midday tomorrow as a reasonable period for DFAT to make enquiries.
Thanks to Seeker of Truth for researching our funding to The Philippines island of Mindanao, a hotbed of Islamic traditional practices including the beheading of two Canadian hostages in the past few weeks.
We provide $38M for "Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (Philippines)". Why? What do we get out of advancing Muslim education in Abu Sayyaf territory - now claimed as part of the Islamic State..
Given the way Islam is practiced in Mindanao and the relative impunity with which Abu Sayyaf operates it's reasonable to wonder what influence Abu Sayyaf and thus the Islamic State has on the madrassas and Islamic schools in Mindanao - which we are funding to the tune of $38M.
A short time ago I sent this email to DFAT.
After months of buildup, which included pledges of loyalty from various local groups, the Islamic State has officially created a province in the Philippines. A newly released video from the region, which was produced in the same style as all other Islamic State provinces, offered confirmation of the new province.
The video begins by showing several “battalions” of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. This includes the Abu Dujana Battalion, Abu Khubaib Battalion, Jundallah Battalion, and the Abu Sadr Battalion. These battalions joined others from ASG, including Jund al Tawhid, Ansar al Sharia, and Marakah al Ansar in pledging bayah to the Islamic State. Additionally, some of ASG’s leadership, including overall leader Isnilon Hapilon (who is shown in the video), have pledged to the jihadist group.
Hapilon, a US-designated terrorist, was again confirmed as the leader of all of the Islamic State’s forces in the Philippines. In an April issue of the Islamic State’s weekly newsletter Al Naba, the jihadist group said that Hapilon, also known as Abu Abdullah al Filipini, had been appointed as emir. In a portion of the video featuring a Filipino fighter in Raqqah, Syria, he confirms the Al Naba report.
Hapilon is the senior most figure to have defected to the Islamic State in the Philippines. The video also confirms that a formal leadership structure for the Islamic State has indeed been put into place, exemplifying its expansion in the country. This was also seen earlier this month in an infographic released by the ‘Amaq News Agency, one of the jihadist group’s news outlets. The infographic included several important facts from the Islamic State in the Philippines, including the number of groups that have pledged allegiance and where they operate. (See Threat Matrix report, Islamic State details activity in the Philippines.)
|Agency||Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - Australian Aid Program|
|Amendment Publish Date||6-May-2015|
|Category||Management advisory services|
|Contract Period||30-Mar-2015 to 30-Jun-2017|
|Contract Value (AUD)||$38,149,141.80|
|Amendment Start Date||6-May-2015|
|Description||Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (Philippines)|
|Procurement Method||Open tender|
|Confidentiality - Contract||No|
|Confidentiality - Outputs||No|
|Name||CARDNO EMERGING MARKETS (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD|
|Postal Address||501 Swanston St|
|ABN||23 006 170 869|
3:29 AM (2 minutes ago)