Someone else will replace Wanndy, say experts
KUALA LUMPUR: The death of Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi is good news for the counterterrorism community in Malaysia but will have little impact on the movement of Islamic State sympathisers here.
Counter-terrorism expert Andrin Raj said confirmation of Wanndy’s death by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar would not lead to retaliation, or undesirable consequences towards the country.
“There will be (someone) to replace him in due time. We will just have to wait and see who’s next in command and if he would carry on Wanndy’s pursuit for IS,” he told the New Straits Times.
Raj said the death of the leader of Malaysian IS militants in Syria would have little effect on other Malaysians in the war-torn country.
“Those Malaysian militants stranded there will continue to fight in Syria. If some of them decide to return to Malaysia, it won’t be because Wanndy is dead, but because they want to flee the attacks.”
Another terrorism expert Ahmad El-Muhammady said there were other Malaysian militants who were seen as potential replacements for Wanndy.
“So far, we have not heard of candidates to fill up his position. But there are potential figures such as Akel Zainal who is seen as capable of leading the group. Time will tell us who,” he said.
Ahmad said Wanndy’s death did not mean the level of threats was decreasing as there were reclusive and well-experienced individuals continuously recruiting Malaysian youth via social media.
“This is indicated by ongoing arrests by Malaysian police... between January and March, more than 30 people were detained.
“This means 10 persons every month. This is a scary figure. Despite ongoing awareness campaigns and arrests, some youths are still determined to join IS in Syria,” he said.