Julie Bishop - you've changed. Ms B in 2007 about celebrity star-f*cker politicians
We can't always be in "Charge!!!!!" mode.

The Philippines confirms what I reported to DFAT last June - Islamic State in contact

Last June I wrote a series of articles about the Islamic State's infiltration and influence over the Islamist elements of The Philippines.

Why is DFAT planning to spend $60M to fund Islamic Madrassas for ...

29 ມິ.ຖ. 2016 - The Australia-Philippines Development Strategy highlights Australia's goal of improving .... Or maybe it's the Moro National Liberation Front?

Request for comment from DFAT on new $60M plans to engage with ...

29 ມິ.ຖ. 2016 - ... plans to engage with IS-supporters Moro Islamic Liberation Front ... of all IslamicState forces in the Philippines according to a translation from ...

Islamic State video announces creation of a province in The Philippines

27 ມິ.ຖ. 2016 - The video proclaims the island in the Philippines as an official .... loyal to al Qaeda), and parts of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Now official confirmation from the government of The Philippines of the Islamic State connection.

Philippines Confirms Communication Between Islamic State in Syria and Local Affiliate

“I am earnestly asking, I am pleading to the MNLF and the MILF, do not provide sanctuary to the terrorists in your areas,” Duterte said in remarks on Friday. He was referring to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), armed Islamic groups stationed in southern Mindanao who do not have ties to the Islamic State. As mayor of Davao, one of Mindanao’s largest cities, for over two decades, Duterte has a long-established rapport with the MILF and MNLF. Both groups have publicly issued statements of support to Duterte.

Duterte warned the groups that, if they support Islamic State terrorists, “we will be forced to go after them within your territory, and that could mean trouble for all of us. I don’t want that to happen.” Duterte made a distinction between the armed Islamists of the MILF and MNLF — who use violence to attempt to establish an Islamic state within the Philippines — and the Islamic State, which have “killed a lot of innocent people.” Estimates suggest an estimated 120,000 people have been killed by the struggle between the two Moro separatist groups and the government.

Duterte’s outreach to the groups follows the revelation by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that the Islamic State’s leaders in Iraq and Syria have established communications with groups who pledged allegiance to “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the Philippines. “They’ve made contact,” Lorenzana said Thursday. “One of the leaders… moved to Central Mindanao allegedly on the behest of ISIS people in the Middle East to find out if Central Mindanao is more conducive to the establishment of their wilayat [caliphate].”

The leader in question, Lorenzana added, was also tasked with consolidating the Islamic State’s presence in the region, including communicating with the violent Maute group, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in 2015.

Manila has already begun acting on the new intelligence regarding communications with Raqqa and Mosul. On Friday, the government announced that troops had already begun an operation, including airstrikes, on an Islamic State affiliate target on one of the nation’s southern islands.

The major Islamic State affiliate in the Philippines is Ansar al-Khilafah in the Philippines (AKP), formerly Abu Sayyaf. The group, an offshoot of the Moro Liberation groups, specializes in abducting Westerners for ransom and made $7 million in profit in ransoms in the first six months of 2016. To cut the flow of assets to the terrorist group, Duterte recently pledged not to attempt to rescue its hostages, warning Filipinos to avoid dangerous areas and not rely on ransom payments to come.

Duterte, who is from southern Mindanao, has previously warned that the Islamic State has been growing increasingly popular in his country, and the battle has become extremely personal for him. To be frank, I have cousins on the other side, with MI [Moro Islamic Liberation Front] and MN [Moro National Liberation Front]. Some, I heard, are with ISIS,” he told reporters earlier this month. Months before that revelation, Duterte warnedthat the Philippines has “problems with Muslim insurgency, and we have to address them before they get contaminated by the ISIS disease.”

The Philippines has confirmed that some of its citizens have joined the jihadist group in Iraq and Syria, even appearing in the group’s gruesome propaganda videos.



Here is my email to DFAT

Sent: Tuesday, 28 June 2016 6:29 AM
To: Media
Subject: Request for comment on Australia funding for Islamic schools under DAESH influence/control


To the proper officer,

On 6 May 2015 the government's AusTender website announced that Cardno Emerging Markets (Australia) Pty Ltd had been awarded a $38M contract to provide "Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (Philippines)".
Last week the Islamic State or Daesh announced that it had effective control of much or all of Mindinao and it proclaimed the island a wilayat or province of the Islamic State (or Caliphate/Khalifah) with the Muslim terrorist Insilon Hapilon appointed as the Emir of the province.
I have included media reports and links to the Islamic State claim of sovereignty over Mindanao below.
Islamic State also issued a call to Asian Islamists who cannot get to Iraq or Syria to go to Mindanao to join the Islamic State and to live under its Sharia.
I know we do not recognise the legitimacy of the Islamic State, let alone its claim to sovereignty over part of The Philippines.  However it would appear that large numbers of locals do.
Is the Australian Government aware of the Islamic State claim that Mindanao is part of the Caliphate? Is the DFAT funding for Muslim education in Mindanao affected?
What is the syllabus being taught in Mindanao through our $38M "Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (Philippines)"?
Can the Australian Government reassure us that none of our money goes to the benefit of the Islamic State or or to advance its teachings, including those of its subsidiaries like Abu Sayyat?
Given the Abu Sayyaf/Islamic State influence in the province, is it wise for Australia to fund Muslim education given the widespread traditional Islamic practices and influence on the way Islam is practiced?
Kind regards,
Michael Smith

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 TawhidAnsar 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.)

CN ID CN1123382-A2
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)
Parent CN CN1123382
Procurement Method Open tender
Confidentiality - Contract No 
Confidentiality - Outputs No 
Consultancy No

Supplier Details

Postal Address 501 Swanston St
Town/City Melbourne
Postcode 3000
State/Territory VIC
ABN 23 006 170 869


Media <[email protected]>



to me


Michael, thanks for your email.

For your background, Australia works with the Government of the Philippines and the official Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao to deliver targeted development programs, including through the Basic Education Assistance in Muslim Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM) program. We have been a long-standing supporter of the education sector in Mindanao, in recognition of the impact poverty and conflict has had on educational outcomes in the region. 

The DFAT AusTender notification represents an extension to a successful program which works with officially endorsed Government schools that teach government endorsed curriculum - it is not a new program. Funding moderate and good quality education is a better alternative to conflict and extremist teaching. All beneficiary organisations and schools are vetted to ensure that terrorist groups, including the Islamic State, Abu Sayyaf Group and known affiliates, do not receive funds. The syllabus used in this program is recognised and approved by the Philippines Government National Department of Education and is based on a standard core of literacy, numeracy, science and technology.

The Mindanao region remains under the control of the elected Government of the Philippines. The Australian Government works closely with countries in the region, including the Philippines, to address the threat of transnational terrorism.



Media Liaison Officer  |  Media Liaison Section 
Parliamentary and Media Branch | Public Diplomacy and Communications Division

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade