A Year After Marawi, What’s Left of ISIS in the Philippines?
It has been a year since the five-month-long takeover and siege in the Philippine city of Marawi by ISIS-aligned terrorist organizations ended. While news coverage of the event has largely ended, what has been the impact of the siege on the city? How has it impacted national politics? What has become of the four terrorist organizations since the fighting ended? Is another such occurrence on the horizon? This article at the diplomat takes a look at these questions, sketching the aftermath of the fighting that left over 1,000 dead and sent over 300,000 residence away from their homes. Physically, the part of the city that saw the greatest part of the fighting has just begun rebuilding. Politically, the Muslim-majority island remains under martial law. And, concerning the terrorist organizations, they suffered heavy losses, including their top leadership, during their attempt to establish a caliphate and are slowly rebuilding their ranks. Attacks and spates of violence have occurred, but have been at a small scale with small numbers of fighters. The likelihood of a similar attack in the near future is unlikely due to a series of factors. One is that the political crackdown has made recruitment difficult, while another is that funding from ISIS has stopped. In the longer term, however, much depends on whether or not jihadis are able to successfully generate recruits at the scale that made the Marawi siege possible, which itself depends on many political, economic, and social factors.