Rebel chief: IS-linked Marawi attackers plotted for 2nd city

The leader of the largest Muslim rebel group in the Philippines says Islamic State group-aligned militants planned but failed to attack another southern city after their deadly siege in Marawi was crushed last year.

Al Haj Murad Ebrahim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front told reporters Tuesday the extremist plot to attack either Iligan or Cotabato city fell apart after the Marawi siege but the IS-linked extremists have continued to recruit new fighters, including an unidentified Canadian Arab, to recover from their battle defeats.

Murad says his own rebel group hopes Congress this year will pass proposed legislation to enforce a 2014 autonomy pact with the government and warned restive young Muslims in the Philippines may be drawn into extremism if the peace efforts fail.