World

Top M'sian ISIS figher may have been killed in drone attack

Facebook post by militant's wife considered suspicious as it did not match her usual style of writing

KUALA LUMPUR: The wife of a top Malaysian militant in Syria has posted on her Facebook page that he is dead.

Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) operative Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, 27, was killed in a drone attack, she claimed.

It is understood that another militant, whose nationality is unknown, may also have been killed in the attack in Ma'dan, Syria, on Saturday, reported Malaysia's New Straits Times.

Wanndy's wife, Nor Mahmudah Ahmad, 28, who has been in Syria with him since 2014, posted that she accepted her husband's fate.

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

Wanndy is a high-profile target 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 there.

Sources involved in monitoring Malaysians fighting alongside ISIS in Syria told the New Straits Times that although Wanndy's wife had posted about his death, intelligence on the news was still being verified.

It could be a ploy by Wanndy, who may want to deceive people into thinking that he's dead.

"Although his wife has confirmed the news, there is still suspicion about the post," the source said. "This is because some of the words used in the post are not commonly used by his wife previously. They do not match her style of writing."

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

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

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

Wanndy, who grew up in Malacca, left for Syria on Jan 26, 2014, with his wife. Their two daughters were born in the war-torn country. The couple reportedly travelled by train from Butterworth, Penang to Bangkok before flying to Moscow and on to Istanbul before making their way to Syria.

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