Malaysia militants in Syria flaunting their exploits on social media

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Unlike the mercenaries of previous generation who hid their faces and fought shy of publicity, Malaysian militants joining the "jihadist" movement in Syria today are openly boasting about their exploits, posting selfies and videos on Facebook and YouTube.

At least four of them are openly sharing their photographs and experiences on social media.

They are believed to have been recruited by the ruthless Jabhat al-Nusra or Al Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda offshoot behind decapitations and murders in Syria and Lebanon.

A search on the Internet revealed websites in Bahasa Malaysia that glorify the exploits of these Malaysian militants. The most well-known among these militants is former Kedah PAS Youth information chief Ustaz Mohd Lotfi Ariffin, whose supporters also blog about his exploits.

Lotfi is believed to be among 20 Malaysians confirmed by the government to have taken part in the Syrian conflict.

Another Malaysian militant frequently seen on the jihadi websites is 1990s Malay pop group drummer Akil Ukays, said to be a Universiti Teknologi Mara graduate.

One video clip on a website shows a man resembling Lotfi in a trench with other fighters, wielding an AK-47.

Another video clip on Youtube shows two other suspected Malaysian militants on the banks of the Euphrates river, talking of jihad.

The clip has Bahasa Malaysia subtitles.

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