Sources of SecurityMatters reports:
On 13 May 2018, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) appears to have been expecting the local pro-IS groups particularly the Daulah Islamiyah Ranao/Maute Group and some rogue members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front-Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (MILF-BIAF) identified with Abdullah Goldiano Makapaar bin Sabbar alias Commander Bravo of the Northwestern Mindanao Front (NWMF) to stage terrorism attack targeting Iligan City to mark the first anniversary of the Marawi siege on 23 May 2018.
However, the common intelligence assessment is the likelihood of the terror attacks to be launched not just in Iligan but elsewhere in Mindanao before the start of Ramahdan on Tuesday, 15 May 2018. There is a possibility that the local forces of the Islamic State East Asia (ISEA) would commence the terror attacks on Monday, 14 May when the police and the military shall be busy providing security for the simultaneous Barangay and SK Elections nationwide. There was no cause for panic however as the AFP together with the PNP are taking steps to pre-empt ISEA’s fresh terror plots.
The public is advised to stay calm but vigilant.
There was a report earlier that continuous military combat operations pushed the DIR/Maute Group led by Owayda Benito MAROMBSAR alias Sheikh Abdul Maguid/Ustadz Humam Abdul Najid/Abu Humam/Abu Dar to Pagayawan and Butig. The past two weeks, we observed an alarming increase on the number of terrorism incidents in Central Mindanao beginning with an IED explosion that hurt two persons and subsequent recovery of two more IEDs in the capital City of Koronadal, South Cotabato early afternoon on 29 April 2018. The latest IED blast happened about 8:15 a.m. on 11 May 2018, at the compound of Datu Dimaudtang Dilangalen Elementary School in Sitio Narra, Barangay Tugal, Midsayap, Cotabato where soldiers of the 34th Infantry Battalion, PA were patrolling and conducting information dissemination. Relatedly, at 7:30 a.m. today, 13 May 2018, at least three churches were targeted in coordinated bombing attacks in Surabaya, East Java Province, Indonesia, killing at least eight people and wounding another 35 or more. The attacks involved the use of at least one suicide bomber and vehicular-borne explosive devices. The bombings occurred outside the Gereja Katolik Santa Maria Tak Bercela church in the southern Baratajaya District; Gereja Kristen Indonesia Diponegoro 146 along Jalan Raya Diponegoro; and GPPS Jemaat Sawahan church on Jalan Arjuno. Police foiled a fourth attack targeting Gereka Katolik Polisi Istimewa. Security officers also conducted a controlled demolition on a second device near Gereja Kristen Indonesia Diponegoro 146.
In view of the prevailing security situation in Southeast Asia and in Mindanao, the AFP and the PNP are reportedly placed on heightened alert.