KUALA LUMPUR — Nov. 13, 2019: A former member of the Ukays rock band who joined the IS militant group in Syria some years ago has been confirmed to have been killed in an air strike there earlier this year.
Based on information obtained from foreign and Malaysian sources in Syria, Wan Mohd Aquil Wan Zainal Abidin or Akel Zainal, 39, his wife and their two young children were believed to have been killed in a Russian air strike in March.
“We received information that Akel’s house in Baghouz was hit,” said federal police principal assistant director of the Special Branch counter terrorism division Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay when contacted today.
A militant from Belgium was also killed in the incident.
Akel Zainal had been fighting with IS in Syria since January 2014. He was believed to be the most senior Malaysian militant identified by the Malaysian authorities as the person responsible for plans to attack several targets in Malaysia.
Another Malaysian militant, Mohd. Rafi Udin, also known as Abu Awn Al-Malizi, who was a senior follower of Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia, was also killed in a Russian air strike in January.
Rafi joined the Jemaah Islamiyah before heading to Syria to join IS and was featured in a video in 2016 calling for attacks against secular governments and its leaders. — Bernama