DNA samples obtained from families of three M’sian terrorists killed

PETALING JAYA: Police have obtained DNA samples from the families of the three Malaysian terrorists believed to have been killed in air strikes in the Philippines.

Special Task Force (Operations and Counter Terrorism) director Commissioner Datuk Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the DNA samples were collected from the families of Jemaah Islamiyah leader Zulkifli Abdul Hir, also known as Marwan, and Darul Islam (DI) Sabah members Amin Bacho and Jeknal Adil.

“We have all the samples ready. We are just awaiting the green light from the Philippine authorities before sending over the samples,” he told The Star yesterday.

Comm Mohamad Fuzi said the Philippine military were still gathering the remains of 15 militants who were killed in a bombing raid on Jolo Island.

“Following their successful bombing raid at the hideout, we had a meeting with the Philippine authorities the same night.

“We agreed to help provide DNA samples for the purpose of identification and they, too, have agreed to return the bodies if it is confirmed that those among the dead were the three Malaysians,” he said.

He said that once confirmed, the Malaysian police would assist in bringing back the bodies to be handed over to their families.

Comm Mohammad Fuzi said it was unlikely that Zulkifli and the other two terrorists had managed to escape the air strike.

“From our discussions with the Philippine authorities, they seem to be very certain that they got the three (killed) but let us not speculate. DNA tests will be conducted to verify their identities,'' he added.

Zulkifli, 45, was described as one of the remaining key terror suspects in South-East Asia.

He had been a fugitive for more than a decade and the United States had a US$5mil (RM15mil) bounty on his head.

Intelligence reports had confirmed that Amin and Jeknal were in the Philippines with Zulkifli, who had been there since August 2003 where he is believed to have trained Abu Sayyaf members in bomb-making.

Amin and Jeknal. both in their 20s, had reportedly fled the country after counter-terrorism police swooped in to arrest DI Sabah members in Tawau last November in which 13 members of the group were arrested.

In the pre-dawn air strike last Thursday, 15 militants were killed. The casualties included Filipino Abu Pula, also known as Dr Abu, and Singaporean Abdullah Ali, another top name in Jemaah Islamiyah.

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