MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) confirmed Thursday that there is a new armed group in Mindanao.
The group, named the Justice for Islamic Movement, is believed to have links with terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah.
BIFF spokesman Abu Mama Misry said the movement’s leader, Muhammad Tambako, was formerly a member of the BIFF.
“Yang si Muhammad Ali Tambako ay breakaway from Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. Hindi sila humiwalay kundi pinatalsik ng [BIFF] dahil iba ang kanilang patakaran, hindi Islamic galing ang kanilang patakaran,” he said.
Based on intelligence reports, the new armed group broke away from the BIFF in 2013.
AFP spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla Jr. earlier said the JIM is now coddling and protecting wanted bomber Basit Usman as well as four Indonesians believed to be members of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and one Arab-looking terrorist.
The JIM, the military claimed, has 70 armed followers coddling Usman and the five foreign jihadists.
In exchange, Usman and the five foreigners allegedly train the members of JIM in bomb-making techniques and other forms of terrorism.
The BIFF spokesman said they have no information if the breakaway group is coddling terrorists.
He said the military has discovered a camp of the new armed group in Mamasapano. (MNS)