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M'arakat al-Ansar

This outfit is very poory attested.

In November 2015, Malaysian police warned that they believed militants in the southern Philippines were trying to form an official IS regional faction and to unite the most high-profile group there, Abu Sayyaf, with others. A video circulating in January 2016 purported to show Abu Sayyaf, Ansar al-Shari'ah Brigade and M'arakat al-Ansar pledging allegiance to IS, and acknowledging Abu Sayyaf's leader, Isnilon Hapilon, as their overall leader.

Also seen in the video are Abu Anas al Muhajir and Abu Harith al Filipini. Al Muhajir is identified as the leader of another jihadist group identified only as group Katibat Marakah al Ansar, while Al Filipini represented the Katibat Ansaral Sharia. In February 2016 a video released by an Islamic State media outlet, the jihadist group officially recognized the pledges. Despite the IS statement, the military continues to maintain that there is no IS presence in the Philippines. While it is probably true that IS fighters from the Middle East have not traveled to the Philippines.

Other groups in the Philippines that had also separately pledged oaths to IS, including the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Ansar al-Khilafah Philippines, were not in the video.

According to Rohan Gunaratna, ISIS follows a 5-step process in expanding its influence: a.) raising awareness of the Islamic Caliphate through propaganda; b.) a series of groups pledging their allegiance to the Caliph; c.) selection of groups to form a province; d.) selection of a leader to lead the ISIS branch; and e.) ISIS proclamation of a designated area as a province of the Caliphate.




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