2 brothers nabbed as PNP busts first ISIS-inspired group outside of Mindanao

By Aaron Recuenco

Security forces have arrested two brothers, who allegedly established a group sympathetic to the international terror group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) in Northern Luzon, in a raid on their houses in Baggao, Cagayan.

The separate raids resulted in the arrest of brothers Altero and Greg Cariaga. It was the first case that revealed that a local group sympathetic to ISIS was monitored outside Mindanao, according to Police General Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

"Apparently, they are pledging support to ISIS. This is the first time that an ISIS-sympathetic group was monitored outside the area of Mindanao," said Albayalde.

Aside from guns and improvised explosive devices that were found inside the two houses, both the Cariaga brothers yielded an alleged ISIS flag in the raids.

Both the police and military intelligence operatives said the two brothers have estbalished the Syuful Khilafa Fi Luzon, or Northern Jihadist Group in Baggao, Cagayan in 2016.

Altero is reportedly serving as the group’s leader.

"This is a terrorist and radical islamic propgation group in the concept of an ISIS-inspired group in the country," the intelligence report read.

Albayalde disclosed that they have not monitored any atrocities that have been conducted by the group in any part of Luzon.

"Probably they just wanted attention," said Albayalde.

He said the intelligence monitoring that led to the arrest of Cariaga brothers was a preventive measure in order to cripple any plan of the group to launch any attack in the future.

Albayalde said intensified intelligence monitoring was also being conducted in other parts of the country.

The Cariaga brothers are facing illegal possession of firearms and explosive materials.