Killed plying his trade, one might say. And no points for correctly guessing what religion this particular Malaysian followed. Zulkifli Abdul Hir, A.K.A. ‘Marwan’, was a leader of the jihadist organization known as Jemaah Islamiyah, and the protege of another, perhaps more infamous Malaysian terrorist. Zulkifli’s mentor was a notorious bomb maker and mass murderer by the name of Azahari Hussin, another Malaysian terrorist who also died in 2005 while following the violent teachings of Islam. Zulkifli was hardly a poor or ignorant jihadist–he was a telecommunications engineer who was educated in the United States. From “Marwan’s decade-long tale of terror”, The Star, 3 February 2012:
PETALING JAYA: Zulkifli Abdul Hir, born in Muar in 1966, was a telecommunications engineer trained in the United States.
whose aliases included Marwan and Musa, was believed to be the head of
the Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM), accused of being a senior member
of the regional terror network Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and blamed for
multiple bomb attacks in the Philippines.
He was a protege of JI bomb expert Dr Azahari Hussin, a Malaysian killed by an Indonesian anti-terrorism unit on Nov 9, 2005.
He was wanted for his role in leading KMM in a Southern Bank robbery in Petaling Jaya in May 2001, and the murder of Lunas assemblyman Dr Joe Fernandez and the bombing of a Hindu temple in Pudu, both in 2000.
fled to Indonesia where he was believed to be involved in the Bali
bombing in 2002, which claimed more than 200 lives. It is thought that
he then escaped to Jolo Island in Southern Philippines in 2003.
the Philippines, he cooperated with Abu Sayyaf and the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front to attack and bomb several American interests and
military bases there.
This led him to being placed in the top 10
list of the world’s most wanted terrorists with a US$5mil (M15mil)
bounty on his head.
He was also high on the Philippines police’s
wanted list after two of their personnel were killed in a clash when
they attempted to approach his hideout near Manila in August 2006.
Marwan had also been accused of helping to secure funds and weapons for Abu Sayyaf from foreign donors.
March 2010, the Philippines marines launched an assault against Marwan,
killing at least seven al-Qaeda linked militants in a raid at Laminusa
Island, off southern Sulu province.
However, he managed to escape.
October last year, Marwan fled from a military assault by the
Philippines, which killed three Abu Sayyaf commanders and two other
militants near the Indanan town in southern Sulu province.
His brother-in-law, Taufik Abdul Halim, was caught when he tried to set off a bomb at Plaza Atrium in Jakarta in 2001.
However, he ended up losing part of his right leg when the bomb exploded prematurely.
As it turns out, Zulkifli’s mother has already been tracked down and interviewed by the Malaysian media, and she has made it known that she wants her son to come home to Malaysia for a proper (i.e. Muslim) burial. After all, the mentor Azahari had a hero’s sendoff when he was buried in his Malaysian hometown, so why not Zulkifli? From “Please bring his body home, pleads mum”, The Star, 3 February 2012
MUAR: The mother of Jemaah Islamiyah leader Zulkifli Abdul Hir, who
was killed in a raid by the Philippine authorities, wants the body of
her long-lost son brought home for burial here.
Aziz, 64, who lives in Kampung Jeram Masjid in Bakri, said if it was
indeed true that her son had been killed in the Philippines, she wanted
the Malaysian and the Philippine authorities to help bring his body
“I was shocked to be informed of his death as I have not
received any news or heard from him since he left home over 12 years
“He was an engineer with a telecommunications company in Kuala
Lumpur. But one day, he came home with his wife and three children. He
told me he wanted to send his family to Kluang. Soon after that, he
disappeared,” she said at her house.
Zulkifli, also known as
Marwan, had a RM15mil bounty on his head and was among those killed
during a raid in a militant camp on a southern Philippine island
Aminah, who now lives with an Indonesian maid, said
she had prayed every day for Marwan’s return, hoping that her son would
leave the Jemaah Islamiyah struggle.
She said she had been told
by relatives and some police personnel that her son had joined the
regional terrorist network some years back and was living in the
“If it is true that he has died, please bring his body home to Muar,” she appealed.
If the mother has any condemnation of her son’s lengthy rap sheet, or any apologies to make on her son’s behalf to his many victims, there is nary a sign of it in this piece. But if she’s free of troublesome things like guilt or remorse about her son’s long list of crimes, that’s nothing new — Zulkifli and his ilk are heroes to many Malaysians and many Muslims.
The death of a terrorist as skilled and murderous as ‘Marwan’ is always welcome news. The problem is that as long as the agenda of Islamic supremacy remains unaddressed, purposely ignored, and even protected by the government, media, courts, and so on — not just in Malaysia but also in the so-called ‘free world’ — then such deaths are only temporary setbacks for the cause of jihad and Islam. It is only a matter of time — probably sooner rather than later — until another pious Muslim takes the late Zulkifli’s place.