THE Maute family terror group and a Philippine network of terror group IS or ISIS (Islamic State) have been classified by a US agency in its updated counterterrorism designations.
As shown in the Web site of the US Treasury department, its attached agency, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, updated its Specially Designated Nationals List on Tuesday to now include such “entities” as “the Maute Group (a.k.a. Islamic State of Lanao; a.k.a. IS-RANAO) (of) Lanao del Sur, Philippines,” as well as ISIS-Philippines also of Lanao del Sur and similar IS-affiliated groups in Bangladesh and in the African states of Egypt, Somalia, West Africa and Tunisia.
In a statement on Wednesday, Presidential Spokesperson Herminio Harry L. Roque, Jr. said “the official designation of the Maute Group as an affiliate group of ISIS and its inclusion in the US list of foreign terrorist organizations are positive developments in the campaign against terrorism.”
Mr. Roque added that “terrorism knows no borders and the inclusion of the Maute Group in the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists and Foreign Terrorist Organizations as an affiliate group of ISIS shows the solidarity and resolve of the international community to flush out evil forces to make the world safe and secure.”
For his part, Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Ernesto C. Abella said: “We welcome the US designation of Maute as a terrorist group. US designation of Maute Group strengthens our relationship with neighbors.” — Arjay L. Balinbin