PETALING JAYA - He was the diligent lecturer, carrying out all his teaching and learning responsibilities according to the syllabus and staying well out of any trouble.
But unknown to his colleague and students in Universiti Malaya. Dr Mahmud Ahmad had a secret life. He is said to have shadowy links with terror groups leagues away from the campus.
His secret came to light after he went missing for four weeks from his work at UM's Department of Aqidah and Islamic Thoughts.
After failing to contact him for about a month, the university served notice of disciplinary action against Dr Mahmud and said it will work with police in their investigations against the lecturer.
Dr Mahmud, also known as Abu Handzalah had reportedly trained at an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan in the late 1990s while studying at the Islamabad Islamic University in Pakistan.
He and stationery shop owner Mohd Najib Husen, both 36, are believed to be linked to the Middle Eastern terror groups Isil and Abu Sayyaf.
In a joint statement here yesterday, UM deputy vice-chancellor (student affairs) Prof Datuk Dr Rohana Yusof and Academy of Islamic Studies director Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Yakub @ Zulkifli Mohd Yusoff said they were also monitoring student bodies registered under the university's student affairs to ensure students were not affected by outside influences.
The two professors said the university was not aware of Dr Mahmud's outside activities, including his alleged subversive behaviour.
"Our early investigation found that Dr Mahmud carried out his academic responsibilities and followed procedures for the past three years of his service.
"The university also found that Dr Mahmud had fulfilled all his teaching and learning responsibilities as well as followed the syllabus as set by UM.
"During the time he served with UM, Dr Mahmud had never been given any post related to student activities at the Academy of Islamic Studies or any university-level student bodies.
"An an investigation at the student affairs level also found that Dr Mahmud has never been involved in any student activities or been invited as a speaker in any student affairs programme," they said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan said in Kajang the ministry carried out background checks on lecturers at both public and private higher education institutions.
"In this situation, when Dr Mahmud applied for his job, he might not have been involved in any alleged militant activities," he said at the groundbreaking ceremony of SJK (T) West Country Barat's new building.
He said UM would conduct an investigation before forwarding the report to the ministry.