Western powers and media outlets convulsed in shock at last week’s horrific suicide attack on a pop concert in Britain, but little attention was paid to a surge of violence by the Islamic State on the other side of the world — specifically in the Philippines and Indonesia.
Dozens have died since a Southeast Asian faction of the organization also known as ISIS and ISIL raised its black flag over a key southern Philippine city on Wednesday, the same day that a double suicide bombing since claimed by the terrorist group rocked the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.
With terrorism analysts having warned months ago that the Islamic State could surge in the region as it lost territory in the Middle East, U.S. intelligence officials have expressed particular wariness in recent days over the group’s push to hold territory in the southern Philippines.
“ISIS has publicly accepted pledges from various groups in the Philippines and has called on followers in Southeast Asia to go to the Philippines if they cannot travel to Syria,” said one American intelligence official, who spoke with The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity.
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