Leader of Maute group takes over as ISIS-Southeast Asia emir: military


Posted at Mar 03 2022 05:25 PM

MANILA - A leader of the terrorist Maute Group has taken over as the new emir of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Southeast Asia, the military said Thursday.

Abu Zacariah, whose real name is Faharudin Hadji Satar, took over the helm of ISIS Southeast Asia late last year, according to Brig. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo II, commander of the Army's 103rd Brigade.

Zacariah has standing arrest warrants for kidnapping, arson, murder and frustrated murder, Cuerpo said.

"We received information that Abu Zacariah had been designated as emir of ISIS Southeast Asia. We have evidence on that," he said.

"He was among those who joined the Marawi siege but got out during the early stage of the fighting. He was ordered to bring in more people and join the Marawi siege but he failed to return."

Zacariah was among at least 60 terrorists inside the camp of the Maute Group that was assaulted by government troops and military bomber planes in Maguing town in Lanao del Sur last Tuesday.

The fighting killed 7 Maute members, one soldier, and left four others injured, according to Cuerpo. There's no information yet on whether Zacariah was among the 7 fatalities, he said.

Soldiers found a bomb-making facility inside the overran camp along with 45 firearms, scores of improvised explosive devices, assorted ammunition and magazines, and ISIS flags, among others.

Pursuit operations are ongoing. No encounter was recorded with the group since last Wednesday, Cuerpo said.

The military has received reports that Zacariah is planning atrocities during the Ramadan next month and during the elections, Cuerpo added.

“Your Armed Forces here in Lanao del Sur continue to intensify our operations to eliminate the threats and achieve our ultimate goal of establishing lasting peace and progress for the people of Mindanao. Our operations are very specific and surgical,” he said.

Maute members laid siege on Marawi City in May 2017, leading to a five-month gun battle that claimed the lives of some 168 soldiers and policemen, 47 civilians and 1,000 terrorists, including then ISIS-Southeast Asia emir Isnilon Hapilon.