MANILA -- An international affairs analyst is not discounting the possibility that some extremist elements in Mindanao will try to send members to train and fight for the jihadist group Islamic State (IS).
Ateneo de Manila University professor Richard Heydarian said while the Islamic State's stated goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate may be far-fetched, it could provide a permanent haven for extremists from all over the world.
''The bigger threat down the road is the fact that you have a group which might have access to hundreds of millions of dollars. They control oil fields and then because of their sheer military success they are attracting young, hotheaded kids from around the world,'' Heydarian told ANC's Headstart.
''Now you have kids from around the world going there, getting very advanced training, and eventually these guys are gonna go back to their home countries and that's the threat down the road."
Heydarian added the Philippines must remain vigilant and boost its intelligence cooperation with its allies.
He also believes the government must continue to pursue the peace process in Mindanao in order to counter the further rise of extremism there.
Heydarian said one way to deal with extremism is to create development and progress, to dissuade people from engaging in radical or terrorist activities. - ANC