Though the threat of ISIS is a real and legitimate concern, based on what my foreign sources say, what prompted the merger of several ISIS sympathizers within the Abu Sayyaf group and the Maute local group.
Defeated politicians in connivance with big time drug lords in Lanao del Sur are the ones providing financial assistance as well as firepower to local terrorists from the Maute-ASG-and ASK group who staged the recent attack at Marawi City. The attack is not ISIS but only ISIS-inspired and is really not an attack to challenge the national government. Rather, it was a revenge attack against the incumbent mayor of Marawi by a group of local politicians who lost the 2016 elections.
A source says the Maute Group is being financed and maintained by defeated politicians based at Marawi City. The source says defeated mayoral candidate Omar Solitario of Marawi, Fahad Pre Salic who ran and lost the gubernatorial race during the 2016 elections and Arafat Umpar Salic, another defeated vice mayoral candidate are reportedly the financiers of the Maute Group.
The source also claims that Solitario-Salic clique is being financed by several drug lords who operate in Lanao del Sur.
Fahad "Pre" Salic is husband of Rasmia who is the sister of Farhana Maute, mother of the Maute brothers. Salic is a brother of Omar Solitario Ali. They provide the Maute Group arms, vehicles and financial assistance.
Sources say the Maute Group members do not know that the ones financing them are connected with big-time drug lords who aligned with the Pre Salic-Solitario-Arafat group. Armed men from the Omar Solitario Ali group reportedly joined the Maute Group.
Close sources within Marawi claim that the attack in Marawi is the handiwork of the PreSalic-Solitario-Arafat group as an act of revenge against Mayor Majul Gandamra and his associates. In the past 2016 elections, this Pre Salic-Solitario-Arafat Group reportedly asked for former candidate and now President Duterte's support, but was refused.
The Marawi city attack was reportedly planned at Basak Malutlut and Bangon, known lairs of the Pre Salic-Solitario-Arafat group. The source claims the reason why MSU was not attacked and was spared by the Maute Group was that the Pre Salic-Solitario-Arafat Group maintains business interests in the area.
The Salic-Solitario-Arafat group reportedly vowed to destroy Marawi if they lose the elections.