Malaysia: Kayak Instructor Sentenced to 6 Years for Aiding IS Figure Wanndy

Ray Sherman
Kuala Lumpur
170404-MY-kayak-620.jpg A Royal Malaysian Police officer keeps watch beside parked squad cars in Kuala Lumpur, March 7, 2017.

A Malaysian court on Tuesday sentenced a kayak instructor to six years in prison for allowing Malaysia’s leading Islamic State (IS) figure, Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi, to use his bank account to finance terrorist activities.

Ab Karim Ab Rahman, a judicial commissioner at Kuala Lumpur’s High Court, sentenced Mohamad Jazrin Mohamad Azaha after he pleaded guilty to the charge. The judge ordered the sentence to run from the day the defendant was arrested, May 18, 2016.

Mohamad Jazrin, 23, was charged with indirectly handling property belonging to Wanndy by allowing 1,990 ringgit (U.S $449) to be deposited into his bank account for Wanndy’s benefit. He allowed the deposit at the RHB Bank in the state of Perak, between Jan. 30 and Feb. 6, 2016.

“Your act of allowing Wanndy to handle your bank account is called handling a terrorist’s property. It can allow a terrorist to continue carrying out terror activities.

“It is a very serious offense and is worthy of a jail sentence,” the judge said.

Mohamad Jazrin also allegedly deposited 2,000 ringgit (U.S $451) into a bank account belonging to an unknown individual on Feb. 10, 2016, at the direction of Wanndy.  The defendant faced up to 20 years in prison or a fine and seizure of property.

According to investigators, Mohamad Jazrin got to know Wanndy through Facebook in early 2015 before changing to WhatsApp to exchange messages. In mid-January 2016, Wanndy suggested that Mohamad Jazrim allow access to his bank account.

Defense attorney P.A Sharon asked for the sentence to run from the date of his arrest because her client was “still young.”

“My client has also repented and is studying religion in prison,” she told the court. “He would like to return to his family as soon as possible and since he is so young, he has plenty of chance to right his wrongs.”

Sharon added that Mohamad Jazrin had cooperated with the police following his arrest, leading to detention of several other suspects.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Izhanudin Alias had asked for a deterrent sentence to stop the spread of terror ideology.

High on wanted list

Wanndy is the best-known IS fighter from Malaysia.

Last week, the United States classified Wanndy and Indonesian Bahrun Naim as Specially Designated Global Terrorists for providing financial and operational support for IS recruitment and for attack plots in Indonesia, Malaysia and in Southeast Asia, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

Wanndy, who lives in Syria with his wife and child, has been accused of orchestrating a grenade attack at a nightclub on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur that injured eight people in June 2016, and was the first attack claimed by IS in Malaysia.

The 26-year-old, known as Abu Hamza on Facebook, actively recruited Malaysians to join the IS-cause in the Middle East, through social media channels.

Wanndy was thrust into notoriety when he and another Malaysian militant appeared in a video depicting the beheading of a Syrian prisoner, which went viral in February 2015.

In a September 2015 interview with BenarNews, Wanndy said he did not regret leaving the country to join the IS.

“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  said then.

Since 2013, Malaysian authorities have arrested 294 people suspected of having links to IS links, of whom 66 have since been freed, according to the latest figures obtained by BenarNews.


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