MALACCA - One of the two Malaysians seen in a beheading video by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was described as hostile and quarrelsome towards his neighbours and often returned from trips to Kuala Lumpur with bags of money.
Before he left for Syria, Muhamad Wanndy Muhamad Jedi, 25, had covert meetings at his home and unusual visits by people from other states, The Star newspaper quoted neighbours and friends as saying.
It only made sense to his neighbours after a video footage he filmed surfaced in the media days ago, showing another Malaysian, Mohd Faris Anuar from Kedah, posing beside the body of a man beheaded by the ISIS.
Several neighbours told The Star that they noticed about eight people, including two women, visiting Muhamad Wanndy's home in Jalan Bukit Tambun, Durian Tunggal. Some stayed for days.
They said the visits took place between August and December last year, and then stopped.
The Star quoted the neighbours as saying they never asked Muhamad Wanndy about the visits because he was "an unfriendly person". He was hostile to his neighbours and often quarrelled with them, said one of his friends who wished to remain anonymous.
"He is short tempered," said the friend, adding that Muhamad Wanndy was expelled from secondary school. "His neighbours always advised me to stay away from him because he kept bringing girls home."
The friend also offered more details on the clandestine activities that took place.
Three men - two from Kelantan and one from Kedah - stayed at Muhamad Wanndy's home for long periods between November and December last year, The Star quoted him as saying.
He claimed that among the other visitors was 25-year-old Umi Kalsom Bahak from Negri Sembilan who was charged on Nov 1 with supporting ISIS militants. "Umi Kalsom went to the house some time in October last year," he said.
According to him, the two men from Kelantan were in their 20s.
"I heard that they came here because their home state was hit by massive floods.
"But they seemed more interested with updating their Facebook pages than finding out if their families facing the disaster were alright. I found that strange," he said.
The friend said Muhamad Wanndy often went to Kuala Lumpur to meet a foreigner in his 40s who spoke with an Indonesian accent and who gave large sums of cash to him and the others.
"I don't know the identity of the foreigner but Muhamad Wanndy often returned home with bags of money after each trip.
"He told me the cash was for the militant group (ISIS) and would hand out the money to his contacts," said the friend.
The friend, in his 20s, was asked to join the Majmu'ah al Arkhabiliy, a 100-strong unit made up of only Malaysian and Indonesian militants that was under the command of ISIS, but he declined.
"I was surprised that Muhamad Wanndy joined. He never attended Friday prayers or even performed his prayer obligations by going to a surau in all the years that we were friends.
"Suddenly he became pious at the end of last year. I find that hypocritical."
He said that he had befriended Muhamad Wanndy because he was a troubled person and had hoped to set him straight through religion.
Muhamad Wanndy, he said, left his home in Durian Tunggal in 2012 after his family members accused him of stealing his mother's belongings after her death from leukaemia that year. His father died when he was a young boy, said the friend.
He added that Muhamad Wanndy then worked in Kuala Lumpur and he believed that was when he became involved with militant recruitment activities.
"He came back to Malacca some time in August last year," said the friend.
Muhamad Wanndy moved in with his 28-year-old brother who worked at a telecommunications outlet in Ayer Keroh, while his two younger sisters, 21 and 24, were married and lived elsewhere.
He married Nor Mahmudah Ahmad, 26, before they left for Syria on Feb 26 and the solemnisation ceremony was at a Thai border town.