A report by Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC) stated that the Philippines has the most Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attacks outside Iraq and Syria.
TRAC’s Considering Claimed Attacks: Islamic State’s Hidden Narrative report cited that from May 20 to September 22, there was a total of 222 ISIS-claimed terror attacks worldwide. Ninety-nine were in the Philippines.
“Islamic State East Asia (ISEA)/Philippines handily won the title of most effective IS franchise over Summer 2017 with roughly the same amount of claims (99) as all other countries combined (122),” the report said.
Following the Philippines are Afghanistan and Egypt that had 43 and 33 claims, respectively.
“Claims in Philippines alone took the Islamic State brand to a new level of perceived global capabilities and effectiveness,” the report also stated.
TRAC said that this is most likely due to the five-month Marawi siege that started on May 23 and ended on October 23. Of the 99 claims in the country, 70 are from Marawi City.
“As Mosul [in Iraq] was lost and Raqqa [in Syria] encircled, Marawi became both a beacon and an option for IS supporters globally,” the report read.
According to TRAC, all strategies and operations came from native Filipinos and Malaysians based in the South Philippines, but “IS central provided some fighters and funding as well as instruction via tactics of urban warfare.”
“The Marawi could have happened without an IS in ash Sham, though it would not have happened without the inspiration of Caliphate. Also it would not have been nearly as effective,” it said.
The report further said that the Marawi siege was a testament of the ISIS’ power in its global communications network, and at the same time the siege proved ISIS’ dependence on local groups and conditions.
“The future of the IS brand in the Philippines depends largely on the locals – the interests and aspirations of both the Muslim public and entrenched power brokers, such as autonomous MILF commanders,” TRAC said.
The report compared the rapid increase of ISIS attack claims this year to the May 20-September 22, 2016 data, in which the Philippines only got a total of six. There were zero claims in May 20-September 22, 2015.
TRAC is a digital intelligence repository that provides researchers in the fields of terrorism studies, political science, international relations, sociology, criminal justice, philosophy, and history with content that provides comprehensive data and analysis for complex topics.