The leader of a terrorist group with ties to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was killed by Philippine security forces on Thursday in Kiamba town, Sarangani province.
Hermogenes Esperon, National Security Adviser said Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, alias "Tokboy", head of Ansar al-Khilafah Philippines, was killed in a police operation at around 1am.
"It was an inter-agency operation, led by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and police," Esperon told Rappler.
Chief Superintendent Cedrick Train said Maguid was caught along with three other men as he was about to leave a beach resort in a Toyota Wigo sedan. The police shot him dead on the spot, while the other men were arrested. The police have also seized items including two AR-15 assault rifles and a grenade from Maguid's men.
According to reports, Maguid was believed to be trained under Zulkifli bin Hir, a Malaysian terrorist. Zulkifli, also known as Marwan, was killed by police commandos in last year January.
Maguid carried a 300,000-peso (S$8,706) reward on his head. He was believed to have been a former commander of the 105th Base Command of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). In 2009, Maguid was arrested on charges of murder, arson, and robbery. But later in 2010, he managed to escape from jail.
Reports also showed that Ansar al-Khilafah, one the extremist groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIS, managed to link up with militant groups in Indonesia under Maguid. One of the notable connections was of Mujihidin Indonesia Timur, which was led by Santoso, an Indonesian who trained in the Philippines.
Last year in April, a graphic video was posted on Facebook showing a few men, who identified themselves as part of Ansar al-Khilafah, beheading a man they claimed was a police spy.
Ansar al-Khilafah was figured in a three-minute videothat was posted in December 2015. The video showed a group of men, who were clad mostly in black, coaxing Muslims to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS. The group is believed to be giving shelter to at least three South-east Asian extremists who have returned after fighting with ISIS in Syria.