Dr Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. (Source: asiaone.com)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysian terrorists in the Philippines have established a new battalion, called the Katibah Al-Muhajir or Battalion of Migrants, to persuade supporters to join the Islamic State (IS).

The information was revealed by terrorism expert Dr Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

In the Philippines, IS has created Katibah Al-Muhajir, the Battalion of Migrants, from Malaysians and Indonesians, he told the New Straits Times, Malaysia’s newswire.

There are about 10 Malaysians there now, he said, adding that the centre of operation for the new battalion is in Basilan, an island province of the Philippines within the autonomous region in Muslim-majority Mindanao.

He said the battalion was created in response to the failure of recruits from Southeast Asia to travel to the Middle East to join IS.

The Sulu peninsula, known as the home of Philippine insurgents, was chosen following a declaration that it was the “soil of the caliphate”, he said.

Earlier, in a propaganda video last month, IS said those intending to join the organisation from Southeast Asia do not need to go to Syria and Iraq if it is difficult, it is better for them to go to the Philippines.

Malaysian police, particularly the Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division forces, are checking information provided by Rohan Gunaratna.-VNA