Breakaway Moro rebels willing to fight in Iraq, Syria

By Lore Mae Andong, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao

Posted at Aug 20 2014 06:24 PM | Updated as of Aug 21 2014 05:57 PM


COTABATO CITY -- A breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has reiterated support for the Islamic State (IS), an extremist group creating havoc in Iraq and Syria.

Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) spokesman Abumissry Mama told ABS-CBN Cotabato in a phone interview that they fully support the group formerly called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has been declared a terrorist organization by the United Nations Security Council.

"One hundred percent sumusuporta kami, at susuportahan naman kami," Mama said.

He said the BIFF and the IS had a "mubayyaa," or an agreement 3 months ago wherein they vowed to support each other.

Mama, however, said he has not seen the agreement, which has signed by foreign affairs officers of both the BIFF and IS.

"Halimbawa niyan ay kami ay nagsumpaan na matamisin na namin ang mamatay kaysa mabuhay kung hindi namin makamtan ang aming minimithi na Islamic state, ang aming mga homeland. Naghawak-kamay sa pamamagitan ng foreign affairs nila at foreign affairs namin ay naghawak kami ng mga kamay yun ang sinasabi na mubayyaa," Mama said.

Mama, however, said no BIFF fighter has been sent yet to Iraq or Syria to train with IS.

He said the training given BIFF members is the same abroad.

Mama, however, said BIFF leaders are willing to send reinforcements to the IS if the Middle Eastern group needs their help.

"Ang sinasabi ng Arabic na 'jihad fisabibillah' ay magkakapatid iyan sa dugo at sa religion na kahit anong mangyari ay mangyayari yan sa isa at doon sa isa," Mama said.

He said they get in touch with the IS through the Internet but they have not received any monetary assistance.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), meanwhile, said it does not support the IS.

MILF First Vice-Chairman Ghazali Jaafar said they are more focused on peaceful negotiations to achieve the Bangsamoro entity that they see as a solution to the conflict in Mindanao.