Philippine militants pledge allegiance to Islamic State jihadists

Hardline Muslim guerrillas in the Philippines said Friday they have pledged allegiance to Islamic State, the extremist jihadists who now control large swathes of Iraq and Syria. Clips have been uploaded in recent weeks on the video sharing site YouTube showing both southern Philippines-based Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Abu Sayyaf rebels pledging support to Islamic State (IS).

We have an alliance with the Islamic State and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

BIFF spokesman Abu Misry Mama

BIFF split in 2008 from the Philippines’ main Muslim rebel group, the 12,000-member Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The latter signed a peace agreement with President Benigno Aquino’s government last March. BIFF, which is believed to have a few hundred fighters, has rejected the peace talks and pursued the decades-old armed campaign to establish an Islamic state in the southern Philippines which was begun by the MILF.