Maute group

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Maute group
Participant in the Moro conflict
Black Standard variant used by ISIL; allegedly adopted by the Maute group
Black Standard variant used by ISIL; allegedly adopted by the Maute group
Active 2013-present
Ideology Islamic fundamentalism
Leaders Abdullah Maute
Omar Maute
Headquarters Butig, Lanao del Sur
Area of operations Mindanao, Philippines
Strength approximately 180[1]
Originated as Khilafah Islamiyah Movement[2]
Allies Jemaah Islamiya
Opponents Philippines
Battles and wars 2016 Butig clash

The Maute group is an armed Islamist group composed of former Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas and some foreign fighters[3] led by Abdullah Maute, the alleged founder of a Dawlah Islamiya, or Islamic state based in Lanao del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines.[4] The group figured in a clash with Philippine Army troops in February 2016 that ended with the capture of their headquarters in Butig, Lanao del Sur.[1][5] There are reports that Omar Maute, Abdullah's brother, was killed in that clash.[6] There are also reports to the contrary, claiming that he escaped before the camp was overrun and is still alive.[7] Since then the group, which a Philippine Army brigade commander characterized as terrorist,[8] has been conducting a protection racket in the remote settlements of Butig.[4]

Background

Philippine Army sources state that their initial encounter with the Maute group involved a firefight in 2013 when the insurgents attacked a security checkpoint the government troops were manning in Madalum, Lanao del Sur. The group is thought to have over 100 members and were supplied with equipment by a foreign terrorist.[8] They are said to be affiliated with Jemaah Islamiya,[1] a Southeast Asian Islamist terrorist group.

Although some reports indicate that the Maute group is regularly seen carrying black flags bearing the insignia of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,[4] Butig town mayor Ibrahim Macadato has stated that the group is not affiliated with ISIS, but are merely armed residents.[9] However, training manuals and other documents for militants under the Islamic State were recovered from their captured camp, indicating that the group may be trying to link up with ISIS.[10]

Butig, the headquarters of the Maute group, is also a stronghold of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and both groups are tied by blood or marriage. Brothers Omar and Abdullah Maute are first cousins of Azisa Romato, the wife of the late MILF Vice Chairman for Military Affairs Alim Abdul Aziz Mimbantas, who is buried in Butig. The Maute brothers themselves were once members of the MILF.[11]

Activities

The Maute group is said to be actively recruiting minors for service as child warriors[12] and using the non-passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law as propaganda.[8] In April 2016, they abducted six sawmill workers from Butig,[13] two of whom were later found beheaded.[4]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ho, Alex (26 February 2016). "AFP overruns extremists' camp in Lanao, 45 killed since fighting erupted". CNN Philippines. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  2. Franco, Joseph. "Mindanao after the Philippines presidential elections". Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  3. Espina-Varona, Inday (10 March 2016). "Alphabet of terror in Philippines' political boiling pot". Catholic News Asia. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Unson, John (13 April 2016). "Maute group beheads 2 captive sawmill workers". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  5. Maitem, Jeoffrey (1 March 2016). "Army regains control of Lanao Sur town, drives away ISIS-inspired group". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  6. Gallardo, Froilan (24 March 2016). "Army chief: Maute group is no ISIS". Mindanews. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  7. Macabalang, Ali G. (7 March 2016). "Maute brothers still alive". Tempo. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Ansis, JC (3 March 2016). "Butig clashes: What we know so far". CNN Philippines. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  9. "Relief goods needed as aerial bombing continues in Lanao del Sur town". CNN Philippines. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  10. Pareño, Roel (10 March 2016). "IS training manuals found at militants' camp". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  11. Zambrano, Chiara (3 March 2016). "The ties that bind MILF and Maute group". ABS-CBN. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  12. Ermac, Bonita (2 March 2016). "Child Warriors Told They'd go to Heaven". Mindanao Gold Star Daily. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  13. Pareño, Roel (5 April 2016). "Maute group abducts 6 sawmill workers in Lanao del Sur town". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 27 May 2016.