Malaysia man jailed 5 years for swearing allegiance to ISIS in Telegram chat group

Zairosfitri Jainuddin Azhar was sentenced to five years' jail by a Malaysian court for swearing allegiance to ISIS on a Telegram chat group.
Zairosfitri Jainuddin Azhar was sentenced to five years' jail by a Malaysian court for swearing allegiance to ISIS on a Telegram chat group. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A man was jailed five years by Malaysia's High Court on Tuesday (Feb 7) for supporting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group by way of bai'ah or oath of allegiance on the Telegram chat app.

Judicial Commissioner Ab Karim Ab Rahman sentenced Zairosfitri Jainuddin Azhar after the 25-year-old, identified by media as a farmer, admitted to the charge of providing support to ISIS.

The sentence is to be counted from July 15, when Zairosfitri was nabbed.

Zairosfitri practised bai'ah in a chat on Telegram with a group called "Gagak Hitam" (Black Crow) in Perak on March 29 last year.

In his judgment, JC Ab Karim said Zairosfitri certainly understood the content of the bai'ah, and had committed a serious offence.

Based on forensic examination of two handphones confiscated by police during Zairosfitri's arrest, he had made 41 comments between March 25 and June 16 last year and most of the comments showed that he had knowledge about the chat group.

In mitigation, Zairosfitri's counsel Datuk Ahmad Zaharil Muhayar said that his client could easily have been influenced by elements on the Internet and joined the group, which had 66 members, on March 25 out of curiosity .

He argued that Zairosfitri's involvement was minimal and had not committed serious offence . Zairosfitri has also repented and promised not to repeat the offence, said his lawyer.