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posted: 6/19/2017 7:00 AM

Islamic State poses a growing threat to Southeast Asia

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  • FILE - In this Friday, June 9, 2017 file photo, debris and smoke rises after a Philippine Air Force fighter jets bombed suspected locations of Muslim militants, in Marawi city, southern Philippines. Southeast Asia’s jihadis who fought for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria now have a different battle closer to home in southern Philippines. It’s a scenario raising significant alarm in Washington. The recent assault by IS-aligned fighters on the Philippine city of Marawi has left almost 300 people dead, exposing the shortcomings of local security forces and the extremist group’s spreading reach.

    FILE - In this Friday, June 9, 2017 file photo, debris and smoke rises after a Philippine Air Force fighter jets bombed suspected locations of Muslim militants, in Marawi city, southern Philippines. Southeast Asia’s jihadis who fought for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria now have a different battle closer to home in southern Philippines. It’s a scenario raising significant alarm in Washington. The recent assault by IS-aligned fighters on the Philippine city of Marawi has left almost 300 people dead, exposing the shortcomings of local security forces and the extremist group’s spreading reach.
    Associated Press

  • FILE - In this June 12, 2017, file photo, protesters stage die-in with a banner reading "Stop the killings" during a rally near the Presidential Palace to denounce the Martial Law declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte after Muslim militants laid a siege of Marawi city in southern Philippines for three weeks, in Manila, Philippines. Southeast Asia’s jihadis who fought for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria now have a different battle closer to home in southern Philippines. It’s a scenario raising significant alarm in Washington. The recent assault by IS-aligned fighters on the Philippine city of Marawi has left almost 300 people dead, exposing the shortcomings of local security forces and the extremist group’s spreading reach.

    FILE - In this June 12, 2017, file photo, protesters stage die-in with a banner reading "Stop the killings" during a rally near the Presidential Palace to denounce the Martial Law declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte after Muslim militants laid a siege of Marawi city in southern Philippines for three weeks, in Manila, Philippines. Southeast Asia’s jihadis who fought for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria now have a different battle closer to home in southern Philippines. It’s a scenario raising significant alarm in Washington. The recent assault by IS-aligned fighters on the Philippine city of Marawi has left almost 300 people dead, exposing the shortcomings of local security forces and the extremist group’s spreading reach.
    Associated Press

  • FILE - In this June 9, 2017, file photo, a girl plays at an evacuation center on the outskirts of Marawi city, southern Philippines. Southeast Asia’s jihadis who fought for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria now have a different battle closer to home in southern Philippines. It’s a scenario raising significant alarm in Washington. The recent assault by IS-aligned fighters on the Philippine city of Marawi has left almost 300 people dead, exposing the shortcomings of local security forces and the extremist group’s spreading reach.

    FILE - In this June 9, 2017, file photo, a girl plays at an evacuation center on the outskirts of Marawi city, southern Philippines. Southeast Asia’s jihadis who fought for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria now have a different battle closer to home in southern Philippines. It’s a scenario raising significant alarm in Washington. The recent assault by IS-aligned fighters on the Philippine city of Marawi has left almost 300 people dead, exposing the shortcomings of local security forces and the extremist group’s spreading reach.
    Associated Press

 
 

WASHINGTON -- Southeast Asia's jihadis who fought by the hundreds for the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria now have a different battle closer to home in the southern Philippines. And Washington is growing very concerned.

The recent assault by IS-aligned fighters on the Philippine city of Marawi has left more than 300 people dead. That exposed the shortcomings of local security forces and the extremist group's spreading reach in a region where counterterrorism gains are coming undone.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Congress last week that a long-running U.S. military operation to help Philippine forces contain extremist fighters was canceled prematurely three years ago. And some lawmakers, including from President Donald Trump's Republican Party, want a bigger U.S. role.

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