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Legazpi City, [07.02.17] – The Spokesperson of the – Karialan faction has denied on Saturday of any link with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] as their vision remains the same pursuing self-rule and just and lasting peace for their Bangsamoro homeland, particularly, Maguindanao.

Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. Google Photo

Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. Google Photo

BIFF – Karialan faction Spokesperson Abu Amir spoke to the Philippine Examiner by phone from central Mindanao and belied government’s accusation, as baseless and misleading in maliciously linking their organization to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s ISIS.

Amir denied the allegiance to ISIS, but confirmed the invitation from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi channeled through an emissary to join the group – via Isnilon T. Hapilon.

The Emir of Southeast Asia. Isnilon Hapilon is a U.S.-designated terrorist and the leader of the pro-ISIS faction of the Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf Group [ASG].

The Emir of Southeast Asia. Isnilon Hapilon is a U.S.-designated terrorist and the leader of the pro-ISIS faction of the Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf Group [ASG].

Hapilon visited the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters camp on April 6, 2014 in Barangay Ganta, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao and stayed there for almost one and a half year to organize the terror cell, Amir said.

He laid the plan to Imam Minimbang, also known as Ustadz Karialan on October 6, 2016 and Hapilon has emphasized that he was tasked by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to convince the leaders of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters to join and pledge allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The proposal of Hapilon was turned down by Ustadz Karialan to join the ISIS and pledge allegiance to the Sunni Salafi jihadist militant organization, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Imam Minimbang, also known as Ustadz Karialan. Google Photo.

Imam Minimbang, also known as Ustadz Karialan. Google Photo.

“Ustadz Karialan rejected to give allegiance to ISIS because he wanted to remain loyal with the framework of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters/Bangsamoro Islamic Fredom Movement to pursue the fight for a genuine and lasting peace for the Bangsamoro under the Islamic State based on Koran teachings as envisioned by the late Ameril Umbra Kato,” Amir explained.

“After Ustadz Karialan rejected Hapilon to join and give allegiance to ISIS, the BIFF has splitted into three factions under Ismael Abubakar, Imam Minimbang and Abdul Tura Malik, since the split I can no longer speak to other factions if they affiliated themselves with ISIS,” Amir ended.

The May 23, 2017 Mindanao was put under Martial law after the Maute Group and Isnilon T. Hapilon launched the siege, the government included the BIFF  in the terror list, tagging the three armed groups to be member of the ISIS terror cell who is allegedly planning to put up  “wilaya” or province under the rule of ISIS.

In the same vein, Amir maintain that the mujahideen under the Karialan faction will maintain their defensive positions in the territories in Maguindanao and always prepared to defend their homeland to any attack coming from their enemies.

As Martial law is still in effect in Mindanao, Hapilon who is confirmed leader of ISIS in Southeast Asia, the U.S. Department of State has offered up to $5 million for information leading to Hapilon’s arrest, while the Philippine government has offered a bounty of PhP10 million reward for the neutralization leader of the Islamic State in the Philippines, and PhP5 million each for brothers Abdullah and Omar Maute, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Eduardo Año said Monday.