ISIS marches into SE Asia as threat hits home
ISLAMIC State is pushing to establish a caliphate on Australia’s doorstep as the jihadists are beaten back across Iraq and Syria, a top defence strategist has warned.
Former Australian Government security adviser and army officer Dr Alan Dupont said the raising of the IS flag in the city of Marawi in southern Philippines and various intelligence reports pointed to a clear plot to establish a war front in South- East Asia.
“I think the situation is far more serious than most people in Australia understand,” Mr Dupont said.
“I think we have completely missed what has been going on there.
“This is definitely an attempt by the Islamic State to establish their SouthEast Asian caliphate.”
Dr Dupont, chief executive of strategic risk consultancy The Cognoscenti Group, said the scale of the Marawi uprising, in which almost 100 troops, 50 civilians and 400 terrorists have so far been killed, showed it was significantly planned and financed.
“My concern is that the insurgency in Mindanao is to spread to other South- East Asian countries, particu- larly Indonesia, and that’s a concern for Australia,” he said.
“What is the likelihood of that happening? Well, I think it’s a lot higher than before Marawi.
“There are a lot of connections between jihadists in Indonesia and the Philippines, this will be seen as a call to arms by those who are well disposed to the IS kind of line.” critical