World

Malaysia confirms death of top local ISIS operative

Terrorist Muhammad Wanndy killed in suspected drone strike in Raqqa

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has confirmed that top Malaysian Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) operative Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, was killed in an attack near Raqqa, Syria, on April 29.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar, in a Twitter post yesterday, said in Malay: "After looking through the intelligence reports we received, police have confirmed that Muhammad Wanndy has been killed in an attack in Raqqa on April 29, 2017."

Speculation about his death came up following a Facebook post by his wife, Nor Mahmudah Ahmad, 28, on the same day.

The New Straits Times reported that Muhammad Wanndy was believed to have been killed in a drone strike. It was also understood that his comrade, whose nationality is still unknown, was also killed in the attack.

Nor Mahmudah, who has been in Syria with Muhammad Wanndy since 2014, posted that she accepted her husband's fate.

"My dear fighter, finally it's your time to go," she said in her post.

"I will remain here and take care of the responsibilities you have left behind.

"Although my heart has not been as strong as I expected, I accept it as fate."

Muhammad Wanndy was a high-profile target for law enforcement agencies worldwide after he was put on the United States' Specially Designated Global Terrorist list in March. He was wanted in Malaysia for recruiting local fighters and coordinating attacks in the country.

NOTORIETY

He first gained notoriety when he and another Malaysian, Mohd Faris Anuar, appeared in a 30-second video showing the beheading of a Syrian man in 2015.

He was among the few Malaysian fighters who were active on social media, channelling instructions to locally based militants or persuading them to join him in the war-torn Middle Eastern country.

Muhammad Wanndy, who called himself Abu Hamzah Al-Fateh, had also coordinated several attacks and provided material support to ISIS fighters in Malaysia, including the attack on the Movida nightclub in Puchong last June.

Muhammad Wanndy, who grew up in Malacca, left for Syria on Jan 26, 2014, along with his wife. Their two daughters were born there.

The couple reportedly travelled by train from Butterworth, Penang, to Bangkok. From there, they flew to Moscow and on to Istanbul before making their way to Syria.

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