Lorenzana warns of arrival of IS terrorists in PH from Middle East

Credit to Author: THE MANILA TIMES| Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2019 11:19:26 +0000

A FILIPINO is among the list of IS terrorists expected to arrive in the Philippines from the Middle East after the group’s known territories in the war-torn region have dwindled, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Tuesday.

Lorenzana said the list, which foreign intelligence sources gave him, contained the names of terrorists with Southeast Asian descent and one was identified as a Filipino. Others were Malaysians and Indonesians.

“In that list that is so long, only one terrorist who is a Filipino is there. The danger here is that those returning to Malaysia and Indonesia may opt to transfer to Mindanao which is what we are guarding,” the Defense chief said in an interview over Radyo Singko.

“There are many of them (Malaysian and Indonesian terrorists) and recently, our troops have been arresting terrorists that are foreigners,” Lorenzana said.

IS terrorists from the Middle East have begun to return to their respective home countries, according to Lorenzana, citing statements from European and Middle East-based experts.

“While the IS’ territory is dwindling, [the experts have warned] that the terrorists may return to their home countries and that is only natural for a Filipino [terrorist] to return home,” he said.

Aside from the foreign terrorists’ possible arrival in the Philippines, Lorenzana also fears the IS may use social media to recruit the youth to join its group.

“We are fearing that because they may gain contacts here even if they are from afar while recruiting the youth,” Lorenzana said.

He made this remark a day after saying that he was not keen on extending martial law in Mindanao, a statement backed by the military and Malacañang. DEMPSEY REYES