Phillipine Soldiers distribute pictures of a member of extremist group Abu Sayyaf Isnilon Hapilon,at a checkpoint in Butig, Lanao del Sur in southern Philippines February 1, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Reacting to violent events in the Philippines, the Prime Minister Office’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau on Thursday issued a severe warning against traveling to the southern island of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago.
“Due to the intensification of the activities of the terrorist organizations, with an emphasis on the global jihad organizations operating in the Mindanao area (including Mindanao island and the Sulu archipelago), there is a real and tangible risk to Israelis in the area,” the warning read.
Because of the gravity of the threats, the bureau recommends Israelis stay away from the area, and for those there to leave immediately. In addition the advisory said that because of the possibility of a “spillover” effect to other parts to the country, Israelis in the Philippines should act with “vigilance and caution.”
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law in late May after Islamic radicals affiliated with Islamic State took over the Muslim-majority city of Malawi. Groups affiliated with Islamic State are trying to set up an Islamic state territorial foothold in the country of 100 million people, of whom an estimated 11 million are Muslims.