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IGP: Malaysia’s most wanted terrorist still alive

 | October 16, 2017

Police believe Mahmud Ahmad and other Malaysian militants are still alive in Marawi city, following report of two Philippine militant leaders being killed.

Mahmud-Ahmad-Fuzi-HarunKOTA KINABALU: Malaysian militant leader Mahmud Ahmad may still be alive following clashes that killed two Philippine pro-Islamic State (IS) militant leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute, Inspector-General of Police Muhamad Fuzi Harun said today.

He was referring to a press conference this morning, in which Philippine defence minister Delfin Lorenzana confirmed the death of Hapilon and Omar, saying that their bodies had been recovered.

The two militants were killed during clashes in Marawi city, southern Philippines, past midnight today.

“We believe Mahmud and other Malaysian militants are still alive after the killings of Hapilon and Omar.

“Our Philippine counterpart will alert us about Mahmud’s latest status,” Fuzi told FMT.

Lorenzana had said that the whereabouts of six to eight foreign militants including Malaysians last reported to be still holed up in Marawi is still not clear.

“The Philippine government is still ensuring there are no more terrorists in the city.

“We will announce the termination of hostilities once government forces have ensured that there are no more terrorist-stragglers in the city and we have cleared all structures of IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and other traps,” Lorenzana said.

Philippine forces said that it had rescued 17 civilian hostages during the operations that killed Hapilon and Omar.

The release did not provide updates about foreign or Malaysian militants.

Mahmud, also known as Abu Handzalah, and his right-hand man Mohd Najib Husen, who was killed in the Philippines, have previously been identified as the chief recruiters in Malaysia for IS.

Mahmud was also reported to have been responsible for training and sending militants to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Among those he had recruited was Malaysia’s first suicide bomber, Ahmad Tarmimi Maliki.

Mahmud himself had reportedly received training at an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan under Osama bin Laden while studying at Pakistan’s Islamabad Isla­mic University in the late 1990s.

He returned to Malaysia to lecture at Universiti Malaya. After being exposed as a militant by Malaysian police in 2014, he fled to the Philippines.

Hapilon is the leader of the Abu Sayyaf militant group and emir-designate of the so-called IS for Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, Omar is the co-founder of the Maute militant group with his brother, Abdullah, who was also killed in earlier clashes with the Philippine army.

More than 1,000 people, mostly militants, have been killed during clashes between both terror groups and troops which erupted on May 23.

 

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