Malaysian IS Leader Killed in Raqqa

Malaysian IS Leader Killed in Raqqa
Malaysian IS Leader Killed in Raqqa

Malaysia has confirmed that the country's top operative of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group in Syria, Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, is dead.

In a Twitter post on May 8, police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said: "After studying the intelligence obtained, the Malaysia Royal Police can confirm that Muhammad Wanndy was killed in an attack in Raqqa, Syria, on April 29," Channel News Asia reported.

Authorities were made aware of his death after the 27-year-old's wife Nor Mahmudah wrote about it on her Facebook page, but they had been skeptical of the news.

Ayob Khan, the head of Malaysia's police counterterrorism unit, told Channel NewsAsia last week that the post could have been written by Wanndy himself to avoid detection. Sources revealed Wanndy was not only wanted by Malaysia and the United States for various terror-related activities, but also IS operatives in Syria after he was alleged to have pocketed money from donations collected overseas for his own use. Wanndy was placed on the US' Specially Designated Global Terrorist list in March.

He was the alleged mastermind behind a grenade attack on a bar in the outskirts of Kuala Lampur in June 2016 that injured eight people. Following the attack, Wanndy claimed the attack through a Facebook post. It was the first, and so far the only, attack by IS on Malaysian soil.

Born and raised in the western Malaysian state of Malacca, Wanndy left for Raqqa with his wife in 2014. He first drew public attention the following year when he appeared in a video showing the beheading of a Syrian man.

Under the alias of Abu Hamzah Al Fateh, he quickly made a name for himself as an IS recruiter and fundraiser. Statistics from the Malaysian police's counterterrorism unit indicate that at least a third of the more than 250 people arrested for IS-linked activities in Malaysia between 2013 and 2016 were recruited by or linked to Wanndy.


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