The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Wednesday confirmed the death of the Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir (also known as Marwan or Zulkifli Abdhir), more than two months after he was reported killed in a raid by government forces in the southern Philippines.
“After a thorough review of forensic data and information obtained from our Philippine law enforcement partners, the FBI has assessed that terrorism subject, Zulkifli Abdhir, also known as ‘Marwan,’ is deceased,” David Bowdich, assistant director of the bureau’s Los Angeles field office, said in a statement Wednesday.
Marwan was a main suspect in the 2002 Bali bombings, who had a $5 million U.S. government bounty on his head. He was 48 or 49 at the time of his death, and had trained as an engineer in the United States.
According to his profile on the FBI’s website, which is now marked in red as “deceased,” he had headed the Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM) terrorist group and belonged to the central command of al-Qaeda’s Southeast Asian affiliate, Jemaah Islamiyah. It carried out the bombings in Bali 13 years ago, which killed 202 people.
Marwan was killed in a raid by Filipino police commandos on his hideaway in Mamasapano, Maguidanao province, on Jan. 25. Filipino forces cut off one of his thumbs, which was eventually sent to the FBI as a DNA sample for laboratory testing.
On Feb. 4, the L.A. field office announced that the preliminary testing suggested a DNA match but more testing needed to be done to confirm that Marwan was dead.
His death, however, cost the Philippine government the lives of 44 members of its Special Action Force (SAF) after their unit became trapped in a battle with different Moro separatist rebels as they withdrew from the area.
“The FBI’s case against Abdhir is one of many investigations the FBI has conducted in cooperation with our Philippine counterparts. Once again, the men and women of the FBI express sincere condolences to the brave officers of the Special Action Force who lost their lives while attempting to apprehend this dangerous fugitive,” Bowdich’s statement said.