WATCH | US State Dept: PH ranks with Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan in terrorism incidence | News5

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The State Department observed that, even though there were terrorist attacks in 104 countries in 2016, they were heavily concentrated geographically. Some 55% of the attacks took place in five countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and the Philippines.


 
According to the United States State Department, the Philippines is one of the top five countries around the world that has experienced a high number of terrorist attacks, and this is being used by Malacañang as one of its justifications for wanting to prolong the martial law declaration covering the whole of Mindanao Island.

The report came at about the time of savage fighting in the Battle of Marawi, which is still simmering and was the spark that triggered the martial law declaration in late May.

The State Department observed that, even though there were terrorist attacks in 104 countries in 2016, “they were heavily concentrated geographically. Some 55% of the attacks took place in five countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and the Philippines.”

The problem has become of serious concern in the country with the emergence of the ISIS-inspired terrorist groups, the recurrent waves of kidnapping and attacks on government forces by the Abu Sayyaf Group.

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said that is not a new problem, which is why President Rodrigo Duterte spared no time in spreading the alert about terrorist, as early as within a month of being elected Chief Executive last year.

Abella elaborated that terrorist in the country was not solely an issue of theology, but is also rooted in poverty: “We recognize that poverty in Mindanao and the sense of hopelessness spawns terrorism. It is for this reason that, while we are fighting terrorism, we are also fighting poverty.”

President Duterte also acknowledged that the scourge of illegal drugs is apparently a source of funds fuelling terrorism in the country.

The government says that proof of this is the stash of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride, or poor man’s cocaine) confiscated from the houses of some Marawi politicians who are suspected to be close to the Maute terrorist Group.

“An enhanced security-based operation would certainly facilitate the early recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi City,” President Duterte communicated to Congress.

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