Three Malaysian militants — including one in an Islamic State video threatening to “lead a charge” against the Malaysian government — were killed in an air strike by the Syrian army.
This was confirmed by Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay who told FMT that intelligence he received said the three died in Raqqah, Syria, on Friday.
50-year-old Zainuri Kamaruddin, better known as Abu Talhah, rose to fame after his propaganda video threatening the Malaysian government went viral in May last year.
The militant from Perak claimed he and his men were part of a “righteous army”. He claimed that the Malay archipelago would someday be swarming with an army of IS fighters who would bring the fight home, particularly to Malaysia and Indonesia.
Zainuri left the country in April 2014 to join IS in Syria and escaped an ambush by the Syrian army in August that year with injuries to the neck and thigh.
He led a Malay-speaking IS arm, Katibah Nusantara. He was also involved in recruitment through Facebook.
Mingguan Malaysia today quoted Zainuri’s family member saying that they were informed of his death at about 1am yesterday by a friend of his in Syria.
The family member who spoke to the Malay daily on the condition of anonymity said the last time he contacted them was about a week ago.
“He told us that the time has come for him to go.”
According to Ayob, also killed were Ahmad Asyraf Arbee Ahmad Jamal Arbee, 31, and Sazrizal Mohd Sofian Thayalan, 27.
“The trio were among 30 Malaysian IS militants that have been killed in Syria.
“They were also among 95 identified Malaysian IS members there,” he said.
Ahmad Asyraf was from Kuala Lumpur. He left for Syria to join IS in 2014.
Sazrizal on the other hand moved to Syria with his wife without their family’s knowledge, reports said.
The married couple was working in an orchard in Australia before leaving for Syria.