Reports filtering out of the Islamic City of Marawi indicate that terrorist elements associated with the Maute Group continue to conduct their recruitment drive there in the face of the martial law that has been in force for several months.
The terrorists are suspected to have established links with the international terrorist network operated by the Salafi jihadist militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), otherwise known by its Arabic language acronym Daesh.
According to acting Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Edgar Arevalo, the military is closely following the movements of the residual Maute Group members and followers after Marawi was recovered by government security forces. In particular the government security apparatus is hot on the trail of Abu Turaife, whose group is said to number as many as 22 individuals and who has been known to leverage social media in the recruitment drive.
Arevalo cautioned against letting the guard down, so to speak, even after the recapture of Marawi: “It is not a matter of numbers. They may have been decomated but it doesn’t take huge numbers to inflict significant damage by attacking a vital installation.” (Reportage: Maricel Halili, News5)