M’sian IS leader and former rock drummer killed in Syria in March

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The former drummer of rock band Ukays, Akel Zainal, who became an Islamic State (IS) militant leader, was killed along with his wife and children in a Russian air strike in Syria earlier this year.

It is learned Akel, whose real name is Wan Mohd Aquil Wan Zainal Abidin, and his family were killed in March following an air strike on his home in Baghouz, Syria.

Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division (E8) head Deputy Comm Datuk Ayob Khan said intelligence obtained revealed that Akel and his family were killed along with another militant from Belgium.

“We obtained information from our foreign counterparts about Akel along with his wife, his three-year-old son and two-year-old daughter being killed in the air strikes.

“One of the air strikes hit his home, killing them along with a Belgium militant,” he said when contacted.

Akel had been fighting for the Islamic State (IS) in Syria since Jan 3,2014.

He had assumed the mantle of Malaysian militant leader there following the death of Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi in April 2017.

It was also learnt that he had been actively recruiting young Malaysians to fight with him in Syria, as well as giving orders to terror cells in Malaysia.

Another senior Malaysian militant Mohd Rafi Udin, also known as Abu Awn Al-Malizi, was also killed during a Russian air strike in January, DCP Ayob said.

“He was featured in an IS video in 2016, calling for attacks against secular governments and its leaders.

“In the video, he was seen beheading a Middle Eastern-looking prisoner.

“He has been a militant since his Kumpulan Mujahideen Malaysia (KMM) days in 2001, and even joined Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) before heading to Syria to join IS,” DCP Ayob said.

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