Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 3-17-2020


Mills, B. (2020). The Rising Risk of Terrorism in the Philippines and Natural Resource Corruption. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. May 2020.


Copyright Daniela Chavez 2020.


As foreign fighters, who had previously traveled to the Middle East to conduct operations under the flag of ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), return to the Philippines and other countries in Southeast Asia, they are bringing their ideologies and knowledge of terrorist operations with them. In addition to tracking the growing trend of terrorist attacks being conducted in the Philippines in the name of ISIL, it is crucial to determine how these returning fighters are gathering the funds and resources necessary to carry out these attacks and establish new terrorist cells. This question of how returning terrorists are funding their growing operations in the Philippines is the main question of this paper. A list of indicators was generated to determine which outcome is most likely taking place: returning fighters are not setting up new cells, new cells are being funded mainly by corruption of the natural resource extraction industry, or cells are being funded mainly by other means. After running 50 data points through the indicators, it was determined that terrorists are most likely exploiting corruption channels already present in the natural resource industry in the Philippines, especially mining operations, as well as using charities to launder funds.