See More on Facebook

Analysis

Death of militant heads will stunt recruitment but not kill it

ISIS has a foothold in Southeast Asia.


Written by

Updated: November 15, 2019

The deaths of Malaysian militant leaders Akel Zainal and Mohd Rafi Udin will reduce the intensity of recruitment for the Islamic State (IS) but not completely kill it, says a terrorism expert.

Dr Ahmad El-Muhammady, a political science lecturer at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, said the recruitment of Malaysians into the terror group might continue undetected in some cases.

“Their deaths will certainly have an impact among Malaysian IS fighters. While their deaths may reduce the intensity of recruitment, it will not completely kill it, ” he said.

Commenting on the power vacuum among Malaysian IS fighters in Syria following the deaths of Akel and Mohd Rafi, Dr Ahmad said there was no longer a central Malaysian figure in Syria.

“However, some people still have interest in the development of the terror group, ” he said.

Dr Ahmad also cautioned that although the terror group was entering into a hibernation period, it had the potential to rebound in the near future.

“They may embark on having smaller terror cells as well as keeping a low profile in terms of indoctrination of IS ideology and spreading their teachings, ” he said.

Akel, whose real name was Wan Mohd Aquil Wan Zainal Abidin, was killed along with his wife and two children when an airstrike hit his home in Baghouz, Syria, in March.

Mohd Rafi Udin, who was also known as Abu Awn Al-Malizi, was killed during an airstrike in January.

Bukit Aman Counter Terrorism Division head (E8) Deputy Comm Datuk Ayob Khan had said that intelligence showed that Akel was known to recruit Malaysians as well as issue orders to terror cells in Malaysia.

One of the last known orders given by Akel was earlier this year when he told a Singaporean businessman to recruit a few others to attack a Freemason building in central Johor Baru.

The attack was thwarted by E8, and the Singaporean suspect was arrested.

Akel, who had been fighting for IS in Syria since 2014, became the de facto leader of Malaysian militants when Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi was killed while Mohd Rafi was featured in a 2016 IS video which called for attacks against secular governments and their leaders.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Star
About the Author: The Star is an English-language newspaper based in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Analysis

Internet healthcare serving homebound patients in China

Online consultations, pharmaceutical deliveries play vital role during outbreak. One recent rainy day, Wu Hong was waiting at the gate of her residential community in Wuhan, Hubei province. When a deliveryman with a bag of medicine came into sight, she was greatly relieved. Wu’s mother-in-law is a breast-cancer patient and needs to take medicine regularly. Wu’s father suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and inhalers have been in short supply. As the novel coronavirus epidemic grew more serious, Wu wasn’t permitted to take her family to the hospital for drug refills. She was left in a state of restless anxiety. On Feb 26, Wu and her husband saw a news segment on TV saying that the Wuhan government had enabled online reimbursement se


By China Daily
March 13, 2020

Analysis

India’s Congress suffers setback after key leader defects to BJP

Move by Scindia and 22 legislators could trigger fall of Congress-led govt in central Madhya Pradesh state. The Congress has suffered a political setback following the resignation of Mr Jyotiraditya Scindia and 22 legislators in Madhya Pradesh state, deepening an existential crisis for a party that is struggling for political relevance in modern Indian politics. Mr Scindia, 49, an articulate leader, yesterday joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with legislators loyal to him expected to follow suit. The move could lead to the collapse of the Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government. That would give the BJP a chance to form the government in the Hindi heartland state, which is seen as key objective for


By The Straits Times
March 12, 2020

Analysis

Chinese Red Cross teams aid Iran’s COVID-19 fight

Humanitarian group to help Iranians with containment measures that worked in China. Voices on the other end of the line cut in and out due to a poor phone connection as officials at the Red Cross Society of China’s headquarters in Beijing attempted to talk to staff members on the ground in Iran on Tuesday morning. As the signal stabilised, the latest developments in controlling the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic in Teheran streamed into a conference room packed with Red Cross managers. Zhou Xiaohang, head of a five-member team-four medics and a Farsi interpreter sent to assist with COVID-19 control in Iran-said Iranians are increasingly taking precautions such as wearing face masks and washing their hands more often.


By China Daily
March 11, 2020

Analysis

Shortage of Masks, Handwash due to panic- buying: Leave some for everyone

Despite repeated calls by global and local health experts and warnings from government, panic-buying grips the country. Global health experts have warned against hoarding masks, handwash and sanitisers during the coronavirus outbreak as it could worsen the situation by depriving those who might need them. Despite this, panic-buying of these products in Dhaka has been triggered by news of the first confirmed coronavirus cases in the country. Across the capital, several pharmacies and superstores have been facing a shortage of masks, antiseptic liquids and sanitisers since Sunday afternoon. The demand for tissue papers has also almost doubled overnight, some retailers claimed. Many of the retail stores, super shops and pharmacies in Karwan Bazar, M


By Daily Star
March 10, 2020

Analysis

MH17 trial in Malaysia begins today

It was reported that MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile while flying over the conflict-hit eastern Ukraine. The trial will begin today. All eyes will be on the District Court of The Hague at the Schiphol Judicial Complex (JCS) in Badhoevedorp as the criminal proceeding against four men accused of shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 begins. It was reported that MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile while flying over the conflict-hit eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on board, comprising 43 Malaysians, 193 Dutch nationals and 27 Australians, were killed. Members of the Malaysian media here to cover the start of the trial were given a briefing by press secretary for the judge, Yolande Wijnnobel, on what to expect at the start of the much-awai


By The Star
March 9, 2020

Analysis

OPINION: ‘Righteous’ women

So who is this ‘righteous’ woman that would never dare join Aurat Marchers? ‘TIS the season to be righteous, or so many prominent Pakistanis on TV and social media along with the religious right would have us believe. Pakistan suffers from hypocritical moral policing at the best of times — in homes, colleges and universities, places of religious worship, and the workplace — but the trigger for the current frenzy is the impending Aurat Marches in many cities of the country. Given that these marches only began three years ago, one can only marvel at how rapidly they have gotten under the proverbial skin of their highly agitated opponents. Enough has been said and written about the wider context of the marches and why they threaten the


By ANN Members
March 6, 2020