TER­ROR­IST WAN­NDY'S LIKELY RE­PLACE­MENT IDEN­TI­FIED

Kedah man, 25, may have taken over as Malaysian IS leader

New Straits Times - - Front Page - TEOH PEI YING KUALA LUMPUR peiy­ing@nst.com.my

PO­LICE be­lieve that Muham­mad Fud­hail Omar is ex­pected to re­place Muham­mad Wan­ndy Mohamed Jedi as the top Malaysian Is­lamic State re­cruiter in Syria.

The 25 year old from Bal­ing, Kedah, was among the first Malaysians to join the Aj­nad As Syam move­ment back in 2014. He then trav­elled to Syria to join IS in 2015.

Wan­ndy was killed in a drone at­tack in Raqqa, Syria, on April 29.

Fed­eral po­lice Special Branch Coun­tert­er­ror­ism Di­vi­sion prin­ci­pal as­sis­tant di­rec­tor Datuk Ayob Khan My­din Pitchay said Fud­hail was highly in­flu­en­tial in Malaysia.

“He was close with Wan­ndy. Those linked to Wan­ndy also have ties to Fud­hail. Be­sides, Fud­hail is about Wan­ndy’s age. There­fore, he can re­cruit peo­ple aged be­tween 25 and 35.

“Those who have tried to reach Us­taz Lofti and Akel Zainal (Malaysian IS re­cruiters in Syria) via Face­book would be di­verted to Fud­hail’s ac­count to be ‘brain­washed’ and re­cruited to join Aj­nad As Syam,” he told the New Sun­day Times yes­ter­day.

Ayob said Fud­hail’s brothers were ar­rested by po­lice for chan­nelling funds to him.

He said Fud­hail was also be­lieved to have in­structed Malaysian IS mem­bers to kill po­lice­men, and sup­ported the plan to con­duct a drone at­tack on Bukit Aman and Freema­son Lodge in Bukit Jalil.

In­spec­tor-Gen­eral of Po­lice Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar ear­lier re­vealed this and the ar­rests of six Malaysians be­tween May 23 and 26 over sus­pected ties to IS.

The six men, aged be­tween 23 and 54, were hauled up fol­low­ing raids in four states.

Among them were Fud­hail’s two cousins, who were ar­rested in Perak and Kedah.

“The 23-year-old re­li­gious school­teacher and 29-year-old on­line busi­ness­man were held un­der sus­pi­cion of sup­port­ing and as­sist­ing IS in Syria through Muham­mad Fud­hail Omar and Wan Mohd Aquil Wan Zainal @ Akel Zainal.

“Fud­hail or­dered an IS mil­i­tant in Sabah to launch a lone-wolf at­tack in San­dakan on Aug 4 last year.”

Also ar­rested was Muham­mad Muzafa Ari­eff Ju­naidi, wanted for smug­gling weapons for Malaysian-based IS ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The 27-year-old cat­tle breeder sur­ren­dered on May 23 at Ran­tau Pan­jang, Ke­lan­tan.

“He in­fil­trated south­ern Thai­land via Sun­gai Golok on March 22 to con­ceal an M4 Car­bine ri­fle and a pis­tol,” Khalid said.

Muzafa’s ar­rest came af­ter his ac­com­plices, Nik Razanil Izuan Daud and Mo­ham­mad Sabri Mat Zain, were held in March. The duo have been sen­tenced to five years’ jail and six strokes of the rotan.

The third ar­rest was of a 54year-old re­tired army per­son­nel in Kulim, Kedah, on May 25.

He is be­lieved to have chan­nelled RM20,000 to IS in Syria via sev­eral trans­ac­tions.

One of the sus­pect’s sons, Afif Safwan Azud­din, was said to have joined the mil­i­tants in Syria.

An­other two men — a 31-yearold se­cu­rity guard and an un­em­ployed 33-year-old — were ar­rested in Kedah and Se­lan­gor.

Six Malaysians have been ar­rested be­tween May 23 and 26 over sus­pected ties to the Is­lamic State.

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