US Declares 2 Southeast Asian IS Operatives Global Terrorists

BenarNews staff
170330-ID-MY-designation-1000.jpg The U.S. government has designated Muhammad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi, joined by wife Nor Mahmudah Ahmad and an unidentified child in this undated photo taken in Syria, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
Courtesy of Muhammad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi

The United States on Thursday declared Indonesian Bahrun Naim and Malaysian Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, suspected Islamic State fighters based in Iraq and Syria who are wanted for IS-linked attacks, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.

The two men provide financial and operational support for IS recruitment and for attack plots in Indonesia, Malaysia, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, the U.S. Treasury Department stated. The designation targets IS recruitment and financial support of terrorist attacks in Southeast Asia and sustains the department’s efforts against IS operations across the globe, treasury officials said.

In announcing the designation, the department said “all property and interests in property of these individuals subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked.”

It also declared that American citizens are generally prohibited from conducting financial transactions with the two men.

“Designating Muhammad Bahrun Naim Anggih Tamtomo and Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi sends a powerful signal to individuals that provide support to ISIS and demonstrates the U.S. government’s resolve to combat terrorism and terrorism financing in the region,” John E. Smith, the treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control director, said in a statement in which he used another acronym for IS.

‘A lesson for everyone’

Bahrun declared his allegiance to IS in August 2014 and had recruited more than 100 of his countrymen by January 2016, according to the declaration.

The U.S. alleges he organized and funded a terrorist attack that killed four civilians and four extremists in central Jakarta on Jan. 14, 2016, transferring nearly U.S. $72,000 to an Indonesian associate. The attack was the first terrorist act claimed by IS in Indonesia.

More recently, Bahrun allegedly began an effort to recruit women as suicide bombers, “because they are less likely to attract suspicion,” according to a report by the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict. Among those recruited was Dian Yulia Novi, who failed to detonate a rice-cooker bomb during a changing-of-the-guard ceremony outside the presidential palace in Jakarta in December.

Wanndy, a Syria- and Iraq-based Malaysian IS operative, coordinates planning for attacks and facilitates travel for recruits to Syria to join IS, treasury officials said.

In a Facebook post, Wanndy declared responsibility for a grenade attack that injured eight people at a nightclub in the Kuala Lumpur area in June 2016 – the first attack claimed by IS on Malaysian soil. Malaysian police have accused Wanndy of orchestrating the attack.

On Wednesday, two men, Wahyudin Karjono and Jonius Indie (alias Jahali), were each sentenced to 25 years in prison for tossing the grenade at the crowd at the Movida nightclub in Puchong.

Wanndy, who conducted a Facebook interview with BenarNews in September 2015, then expressed no regrets about leaving home to join Islamic State.

“I must say that I do harbor the hope of returning to Malaysia, but it is not my priority as my focus now is to stay here and fight, to achieve my dream of defending the IS,” he told BenarNews.

He allegedly had participated in the beheading of a Syrian man that was videotaped and posted to Facebook in February 2015.

“The video version of this punishment is for those who betrayed Islam. It’s a lesson for everyone,” he allegedly said in the video.

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