KUALA LUMPUR – Former Ukays rock band member, Wan Mohd Aquil Wan Zainal Abidin or Akel Zainal, who joined the IS militant group in Syria, was killed in an air strike in Syria earlier this year.
Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, principal assistant director of the Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division in Bukit Aman, said based on information obtained from his foreign counterparts and Malaysian sources in Syria, Akel Zainal, 39, his wife and their two children, aged two and three, were killed in the Russian air strike in March.
“We received information that Akel’s house in Baghouz was hit by an air strike in March,” he said when contacted here today.
He said another militant from Belgium was also killed in the incident.
Akel Zainal had been fighting for the IS in Syria since Jan 3, 2014.
He was believed to be the most senior Malaysian militant who was identified by the Malaysian authorities as the person responsible for various plans to attack several targets in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Ayob Khan said, another Malaysian militant, Mohd Rafi Udin, also known as Abu Awn Al-Malizi, who was a former senior follower of Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM), was also killed in a Russian air strike in January.
Mohd Rafi joined the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) before heading to Syria to join the IS and was featured in an IS video in 2016 calling for attacks against secular governments and its leaders, he added.