KUALA LUMPUR: Former Universiti Malaya lecturer-turned-Islamic State (IS) fugitive militant Dr Mahmud Ahmad (pic) underwent training at an Al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan in the late 1990s, while studying at the Islamabad Islamic University in Pakistan.
After being exposed as an extermist militant, Dr Mahmud has been high on Bukit Aman’s wanted list for more than two years.
Dr Mahmud, along with his right-hand man Mohd Najib Husen (who has been killed in the Philippines), was identified as the terror group’s chief recruiters in Malaysia.
Apart from recruiting, Dr Mahmud was also responsible for training and sending militants to fight in Syria and Iraq.
After their operations were uncovered, Dr Mahmud, also known as Abu Handzalah, and Mohd Najib had been put on Bukit Aman’s most wanted list since July 2014, along with Selayang Municipal Council employee Muhammad Joraimee Awang Raimee and Darul Islam Sabah members Mohd Amin Baco and Jeknal Adil.
Deeply entrenched with the IS, Dr Mahmud was involved in recruiting and arranging for at least four Malaysians to be sent to Syria back in March 2014. He is believed to have arranged for countless more ever since. Among those he had recruited was Malaysia’s first suicide bomber Ahmad Tarmimi Maliki.
In November 2015, police got wind of Dr Mahmud’s plan to form an “official” IS faction in South-East Asia by uniting different terror cells in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division head Deputy Comm Datuk Ayob Khan previously said that Dr Mahmud was actively training with the Abu Sayyaf Group as well as taking part in terror operations in the southern Philippines, including two bomb attacks against the Philippine army.