ISIS' Malaysian leader 'has deadline to stage attacks'

Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi directly instructed the perpetrators of the Movida nightclub bombing in Puchong last May, said Malaysia's police chief.
Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi directly instructed the perpetrators of the Movida nightclub bombing in Puchong last May, said Malaysia's police chief.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

He's said to face demotion unless he can carry out hits in Malaysia

MALACCA • The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's (ISIS) top Malaysian operative, Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, faces the prospect of being stripped of his stature as a leader in the group unless he carries out terror attacks in the country before the end of the year, according to an intelligence source.

"He has failed to carry out attacks in Malaysia as planned. This has infuriated (ISIS') Syrian and Iraqi leaders," the source told The Star.

According to the source, Muhammad Wanndy has "limited time" to try and convince the terror group's Syrian leaders of his ability to conduct terror attacks.

"He has been given until the end of the year, or risks having his stature as the IS' Malaysian leader stripped," said the source, using an alternative acronym for ISIS.

The source said that due to his predicament, Muhammad Wanndy would go all out to prove his mettle by staging bombings at targeted spots in Malaysia.

DESPERATE TO PROVE HIMSELF

He has failed to carry out attacks in Malaysia as planned. This has infuriated (ISIS') Syrian and Iraqi leaders. He has been given until the end of the year, or risks having his stature as (ISIS') Malaysian leader stripped,

AN INTELLIGENCE SOURCE, on Muhammad Wanndy's predicament.

Muhammad Wanndy, according to the source, has another battle on his hands: preventing nearly 57 Malaysian militants from leaving Syria. "They have lost faith and have rejected cash offers from him to stay," according to the source.

Among the botched ISIS attacks in Malaysia was the Movida nightclub bombing in Puchong last May.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had earlier confirmed that it was the first ISIS attack on Malaysia carried out by Malaysians directly instructed by Muhammad Wanndy from Syria.

Eight people were injured in that attack.

Last month, Insp-Gen Khalid said Muhammad Wanndy was still working to expand ISIS' influence in Malaysia.

Muhammad Wanndy, who is from Malacca, and his wife left for Syria in January last year.

He is believed to be based in Raqqa, ISIS' de facto capital.

To fulfil his role as the top Malaysian ISIS operative, Muhammad Wanndy is said to have sought the permission of Syrian ISIS leaders for hackers to penetrate social media networks in Malaysia, reported The Star.

"He has promised the IS leaders that he will be able to wreak havoc in Malaysia in several months' time," the source said, adding that Muhammad Wanndy wanted to expand ISIS' tentacles in the country through social media.

He wanted to target netizens with a tendency to make racist remarks or those who criticise leaders in their Facebook posts.

"He will attempt to befriend them online and when he gets a response, he will begin indoctrinating the individuals with IS propaganda," the source said.

The source added that the police were on top of the matter.

"Malaysian police know that Muhammad Wanndy has set up over 100 WhatsApp groups, whose members include students throughout the country.

"The WhatsApp groups are managed by Syrian hackers," the source said, adding that Muhammad Wanndy has also tried to lure more Malaysians to join him in Syria with the promise of monthly salaries.

"About 80 per cent of those he has managed to influence were found to be addicts and introverts."

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2017, with the headline 'ISIS' Malaysian leader 'has deadline to stage attacks''. Print Edition | Subscribe