[00:00.00]The Philippines and Indonesia are working together to stop supporters of the Islamic State terror group from entering the Philippines.
[00:12.31]Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi recently met with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in the southern city of Davao for talks.
[00:26.37]The discussion centered on Islamic State sympathizers in Indonesia going to the Philippines to join anti-government fighters.
[00:39.17]Duterte and the Indonesian foreign minister agreed to additional cooperation in stopping terrorism.
[00:47.16]The website of the president’s office said they also discussed “maritime security.”
[00:55.22]Indonesia is mainly a Muslim country. It has so-called sleeper cells of people who sympathize with the Islamic State.
[01:06.55]The extremist group has mainly been driven out of bases in Iraq and Syria.
[01:13.70]The U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group says that in 2016 Islamic State, or IS, picked a Filipino rebel as its leader in Southeast Asia.
[01:29.60]Reports, however, say that he was recently killed.
[01:34.71]Some Indonesian sympathizers worked with Filipino rebels in a five-month war in the southern Philippines last year.
[01:45.55]Philippine officials believe that Indonesians and also Malaysians went to the southern island Mindanao at that time.
[01:56.65]They are believed to have supported local rebels who sympathize with the Islamic State group.
[02:04.24]That fighting in the Philippines killed at least 1,127 people, including more than 900 militants.
[02:14.86]In October, Philippine troops declared victory over the Maute Group of Muslim rebels.
[02:23.98]The group had declared allegiance to Islamic State, which is also referred to as ISIS.
[02:32.43]A police spokesman in Jakarta told reporters that at least 38 Indonesians were helping Philippine rebels as of last June.
[02:45.89]That is one month after fighting broke out in the Philippine city of Marawi.
[02:53.27]Bibhu Routray is a visiting security and counter-terrorism professor at Murdoch University in Australia.
[03:03.34]He says some of the 40 to 50 foreign rebel supporters in Marawi had traveled from Indonesia to fight for Islamic State after the group called for volunteers.
[03:18.39]Thirty Indonesians got there from Syria and it is believed they were sent by Islamic State, Routray said.
[03:27.46]He added that on their return home they went through the Philippines.
[03:34.11]He said this suggests that Islamic State sent them to fight in Marawi.
[03:41.27]The Indonesian government said in November it would support the Philippine efforts to stop Islamic State in Marawi.
[03:52.56]In June, the same government had sent 119 police officers and 200 special forces to Sulawesi Island to help the army stop terrorists.
[04:07.22]Philippine officials have warned against new Muslim rebel violence in Mindanao although they say Marawi is under control.
[04:18.91]Eduardo Araral is an associate professor at the National University of Singapore.
[04:25.89]He said, “I think it’s logical that Indonesia should always keep its guards up, because they know for a fact that their main sleeper cells around Indonesia are waiting for opportunities to come.”
[04:37.38]About 20 Muslim rebel groups operate in Mindanao.
[04:43.25]The large island is rich in resources by economically poor.
[04:50.31]People there say the majority Catholic country has taken a lopsided share of resources although there are many Muslims on the island.
[05:03.44]Violence has killed about 120,000 people on Mindanao since the 1960s.
[05:11.75]The Straits Times of Singapore online newspaper reports that Islamic State “sleeper cells” operate in most Indonesian provinces.
[05:23.60]The extremist Islamic group East Indonesia Mujaheedin recruits young people on Sulawesi Island.
[05:34.63]It has promised to support Islamic State.
[05:38.61]Experts say there is a lack of security patrols in the Celebes Sea.
[05:45.30]The body of water south of Mindanao and east of Borneo.
[05:50.96]But Indonesia and the Philippines do have reached maritime agreements before.
[05:57.44]They signed an agreement in 2014 after twenty years of talks on formal boundaries around their economic zones in the Celebes Sea.
[06:09.18]I’m Susan Shand