KUALA LUMPUR - The right-hand man of Malaysian Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist Dr Mahmud Ahmad is believed to have been killed in the southern Philippines following skirmishes with the military.
An intelligence source said Mohd Najib Husen, a Malaysian who became an expert bomb maker for the Abu Sayyaf Group, was shot during the clash in Basilan on Tuesday (Dec 15).
"Mohd Najib, who is also known as Abu Anas was not killed instantly but died a few hours later," said the source, adding that some 13 Abu Sayyaf members were also killed.
Mohd Najib is believed to have performed the Bai'ah (oath of allegiance) to support ISIS along with other Abu Sayyaf members.
Dr Mahmud, a former university lecturer here, and another Malaysian ISIS member, Muhammad Joraimee Awang Raimee, 39, were not with the group at the time.
Muhammad Joraimee was a former Selayang Municipal Council employee.
It is believed that the Abu Sayyaf cell was forced to retreat to the forest located on Basilan Island after constant assaults by the Philippines' Army for the past few days.
"The three of them fled to southern Philippines on Apr 22, 2014. Evidence showed that Mohd Najib officially joined the Abu Sayyaf around the same time," another intelligence source revealed.
The 37-year-old Mohd Najib obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering from Universiti Malaya (UM) and was married with five children, added the same source.
"Prior to fleeing to the Philippines, he owned a stationery shop in UM. He was also a member of the Arakan Daulah Islamiyah and assisted Dr Mahmud in arranging meetings with other terror leaders in Shah Alam," the source said.
"He was also responsible for several attacks on the Philippines' security forces," a source said.
The authorities believe he was responsible for arranging safe passages for four Malaysian militants to Syria to join the ISIS.
"One of them is the first Malaysian suicide bomber, Ahmad Tarmimi Maliki who attacked the Iraqi Special Forces last year.
"Mohd Najib was very dangerous as he communicated with many pro-ISIS youth in Malaysia. He not only taught them more on ISIS, he even gave online tutorials on how to make bombs," the source said.
"Until we receive some sort of confirmation from our counterparts in the Philippines, his 'death' remains a speculation. We will wait for them to contact us," Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said during the Go Green Day Programme at the Police Training Centre in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday (Dec 16).
The trio, Dr Mahmud, Mohd Najib and Joraimee have been on the Malaysian police wanted list since April 2014 following their escape to southern Philippines.