Malaysia: Trucker Linked to Dead Terrorist Wanndy Convicted, Sentenced to 16 Years

Ray Sherman
2017.05.18
Kuala Lumpur
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170518-MY-syed-620.jpg A Malaysian man was sentenced to 16 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to receiving instructions to commit an act of terrorism through the Telegram chat application (pictured).
AFP

A Malaysian court on Thursday sentenced a 21-year-old truck driver to 16 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to four charges, including one related to receiving instructions from a now dead Malaysian top Islamic State (IS) recruiter.

The punishments for each conviction total 36 years, but Kuala Lumpur High Court Judicial Commissioner Ab Karim Ab Rahman ordered Syed Amir Asyraf Syed Hamdan’s punishment to run concurrently. He is to serve the 16 years from the date of his arrest, Aug. 27, 2016.

The sentence stemmed from his conviction on a charge that he accepted instructions from Malaysian IS member Muhammad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi to commit an act of terrorism. Wanndy was killed in a drone attack in Syria on April 29, Malaysian government officials confirmed earlier this month.

In sentencing Syed Amir, Ab Karim declared that any offense related to terror, including supporting a terrorist act, deserved to be punished accordingly.

“Terrorism is a global threat which has no borders. The court has the responsibility to stop such acts,” he said in court on Thursday.

Pleading for leniency, lawyer Azamuddin Abd Aziz said his client was young, immature and easily influenced by Wanndy.

Government prosecutor Mohd Izhanudin Alias pressed for deterrent sentences, noting that Syed Amir had received orders directly from Wanndy to carry out acts of terror.

Syed Amir received the 16-year sentence for using the Telegram chat application to accept instructions from Wanndy to commit a terrorist act involving a hand grenade, a pistol and 24 bullets. He was charged under Section 130FA (A), which carries a 30-year sentence and a fine.

Additionally, he was sentenced to 10 years for knowingly providing support to IS by using a Facebook account, under the name of Syed Malizi. He was charged under Section 130J(1)(a), which carries a sentence of life in prison, a fine, or the seizure of items involved in the act.

Syed Amir was sentenced to five years jail for knowingly promoting IS membership through WhatsApp and Facebook and another five years for possessing IS-related photos and videos. The two charges were filed under Sections 130JD(1) and 130JB(1)(a) and carry sentences of  up to seven years and a fine, and the seizure of items involved in the act.

Wanndy designated Global Terrorist

A month before he was killed, the United States Treasury Department designated Wanndy a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

At the time of his death, at least a third of the more than 250 people arrested in Malaysia for suspected ties to IS between 2013 and 2016 were recruited by or linked to Wanndy, according to police statistics cited by Reuters news service.

In addition, Malaysian authorities blamed Wanndy for orchestrating the first terrorist attack claimed by IS on Malaysian soil – a grenade attack at the Kuala Lumpur-area Movida nightclub that injured eight people in June 2016.

Since 2014, at least 31 Malaysian IS militants, including Wanndy, have been killed in Syria or Iraq, and 56 Malaysians are fighting in Syria, according to government figures obtained by BenarNews.

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