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Southeast Asian countries fighting the influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) armed group in the region lauded the killing of its leader but said security forces.

Southeast Asia expects a long fight against ISIL influence

Southeast Asian countries fighting the influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) armed group in the region lauded the killing of its leader but said security forces were preparing for a long battle to thwart the armed group’s ideology.

The Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia – home to some of Asia’s most organized fighters – said on Monday they were braced for retaliation by ISIL loyalists, including “lone wolf” attacks by locals radicalized by the group’s powerful online propaganda.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed himself in a tunnel in northwest Syria by detonating a suicide vest as US forces closed in, according to US President Donald Trump.

Though his death will unsettle ISIL, it remains capable and dangerous, said DelfinLorenzana, defense secretary of the Philippines, where the group’s influence has taken hold among unschooled Muslim youth in its troubled Mindanao region.

“This is a blow to the organization considering al-Baghdadi’s stature as a leader. But this is just a momentary setback considering the depth and reach of the organization worldwide,” Lorenzana said. “Somebody will take his place.”

Southeast Asia has long been an important focus for ISIL, which has inspired fighters in West Africa, across the Middle East and Asia, through to Indonesia and the Philippines.

The Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia have concerned ISIL supporters from the region and those fleeing Iraq and Syria could exploit the porous borders, lawlessness, and abundant arms found in Mindanao to take refuge in its far-flung villages.

ISIL has claimed responsibility for four suicide bombings since July last year in the Philippines, which fought its toughest battle since World War II in 2017 when fighters seeking to establish an “Islamic state” laid siege to Marawi City and occupied it through five months of air-and-ground assaults.

Fighters from at least seven countries took part, including Malaysia, which remains on high alert and has arrested 400 people suspected of links to armed groups.

Malaysian police counterterrorism chief Ayob Khan MydinPitchay said the real concern was not ISIL’s leadership but the effect of its teachings.

“It’s good news, but his death will have little impact here as the main problem remains the spread of the Islamic State ideology,” he said.

“What we are most worried about now are ‘lone wolf’ attacks and those who are self-radicalized through the internet. We are still seeing the spread of IS teachings online. IS publications and magazines from years ago are being reproduced and re-shared,” he said.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed himself in a tunnel in northwest Syria by detonating a suicide vest as US forces closed in, according to US President Donald Trump.

Though his death will unsettle ISIL, it remains capable and dangerous, said DelfinLorenzana, defense secretary of the Philippines, where the group’s influence has taken hold among unschooled Muslim youth in its troubled Mindanao region.

“This is a blow to the organization considering al-Baghdadi’s stature as a leader. But this is just a momentary setback considering the depth and reach of the organization worldwide,” Lorenzana said. “Somebody will take his place.”

Southeast Asia has long been an important focus for ISIL, which has inspired fighters in West Africa, across the Middle East and Asia, through to Indonesia and the Philippines.

The Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia have concerned ISIL supporters from the region and those fleeing Iraq and Syria could exploit the porous borders, lawlessness, and abundant arms found in Mindanao to take refuge in its far-flung villages.

ISIL has claimed responsibility for four suicide bombings since July last year in the Philippines, which fought its toughest battle since World War II in 2017 when fighters seeking to establish an “Islamic state” laid siege to Marawi City and occupied it through five months of air-and-ground assaults.

Fighters from at least seven countries took part, including Malaysia, which remains on high alert and has arrested 400 people suspected of links to armed groups.

Malaysian police counterterrorism chief Ayob Khan MydinPitchay said the real concern was not ISIL’s leadership but the effect of its teachings.

“It’s good news, but his death will have little impact here as the main problem remains the spread of the Islamic State ideology,” he said.

“What we are most worried about now are ‘lone wolf’ attacks and those who are self-radicalized through the internet. We are still seeing the spread of IS teachings online. IS publications and magazines from years ago are being reproduced and re-shared,” he said.

Read more related articles about TheCrystalEyes ISIS News  https://www.thecrystaleyes.com/category/isis/

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