- The Maute brothers namely Omarkhayam and Abdullah.
- Radical thinking is starting to conceive into the minds of the Mautes whey they were studying abroad.
- Their main ally is Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, who is on the US government’s list of most-wanted terrorists.
Just like any normal teenagers, the Maute brothers namely Omarkhayam and Abdullah, lived a normal life. During 1990s, the Muslim brothers were seen playing basketball in the streets. They studied English, memorized the Koran and were high school alumni of a Protestant Church-run institution. Despite their ideal educational background and exposures to both Muslim and Christian teachings, what made the Maute brothers fell into Radical Islamism and turned into a psychopathic sadist and sickening killer?
The Mautes came from a well-off family with a father who is an engineer and a mother who is engaged in construction and property development.
The siblings pursued their studies in the Middle East where Omarkhayam enrolled at Al-Azhar University in Egypt, while Abdullah went to Jordan.
Little did they know that radical thinking is starting to conceive into the minds of the Mautes whey they were studying abroad, according to Jones and Rommel Banlaoi, head of the Manila-based Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research.
Omarkhayam started to established links to Indonesia when he married Minhati Madrais, an Indonesian.
When they returned to Mindanao after about a decade, the Mautes received mentoring from fugitive Indonesian militant, Ustadz Sanussi.
Sanussi later introduced the Mautes to Southeast Asian jihadists, particularly the Malaysian bomb-maker Zulkifli bin Hir.
Soon Dawlah Islamiya was formed in 2012 but now more popularly known as the Maute terror group with a radical brand of Islam wherein non-believers must be killed.
When the main rebel organization – the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – sought a peace negotiation with the government, the Maute group position themselves as the new “serious military threat” inspired by ISIS’ atrocities in Iraq and Syria, security analyst Sidney Jones told AFP.
In what seem to be a baptism of fire and to make their presence felt, the Maute group attacked the town of Butig in Lanao del Sur which displaced thousands of residents.
Their rise to international notoriety came during the Marawi City siege in May 23 stamping their credentials as the Philippine leaders in ISIS.
Their main ally is Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, who is on the US government’s list of most-wanted terrorists.
They planted ISIS flag and set their Alma Mater – the Dansalan College – on fire.
As of press time, the ongoing firefight have claimed the lives of 310 individuals.