Source: The New York Times
BASILAN, the Philippines — Across the islands of the southern Philippines, the black flag of the Islamic State is flying over what the group considers its East Asia province.
Men in the jungle, two oceans away from the arid birthplace of the Islamic State, are taking the terrorist brand name into new battles.
As worshipers gathered in January for Sunday Mass at a Catholic cathedral, two bombs ripped through the church compound, killing 23 people. The Islamic State claimed a pair of its suicide bombers had caused the carnage.
An illustration circulated days later on Islamic State chat groups, showing President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines kneeling on a pile of skulls and a militant standing over him with a dagger. The caption on the picture sounded a warning: “The fighting has just begun.”