Zulkifli Abdhir

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Zulkifli Abdhir
Zulkifli Abdhir.jpg
Photograph of Zulkifli taken in 2000.
Born Zulkifli Abdhir
1966 (age 47–48)
Muar, Johor, Malaysia
Nationality Malaysia
Other names Marwan, Zulkifli bin Hir, Zulkifli bin Abdul Hir, Zulkifli Abd Hir, Hulagu, Holagu, Lagu, Musa Abdul Hir, Zulkifli Abdul Hir, Zulkifli Abdul Khir, Abdul Hir bin Zulkifli, Abduhir Bin Hir, Bin Abdul Hir Zulkifli, Zulkifli, Zulkifli Hir, Musa, Abdulhir Bin Hir, Ahmad Shobirin, Armand Escalante, Hassan, Hendri Lawi, Henri Lawi, Hogalu, Hugalu, Muslimin Abdulmotalib, Norhana Mohamad, Normina, Hashim, Omar Salem, Salim Alombra
Occupation Engineer, Terrorist
Known for FBI Most Wanted Terrorist, leader of the Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia, bomb maker, part of Jemaah Islamiyah's central command
Height 5'6
Weight 120 lbs
Religion Islam
Spouse(s) 4?
Children 3?

Zulkifli Abdhir (Arabic: ذو الكفل بن الهر; born 1966) is a Malaysian who is one of the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists. The FBI have offered a USD 5 million reward for information leading to his capture. He is the maker of bombs delivered for usage to several terrorist groups. [1] He is often referred to by his militant guerrilla name "Marwan". He is suspected of being a leader of the Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia, being part of the central command of the Jemaah Islamiyah, and is currently believed to be alive and hiding somewhere in the Southern Philippines.

Early life[edit]

Zulkifli Abhir was born on January/5 October 1966 In Muar, Johor, Malaysia. Abdhir is known to reference both dates in different circumstances as his date of birth. According to the FBI, he is 5 feet 6 inches tall, approximately 120 lbs and can speak Malay, Tagalog, English, and Arabic.[1] Abdhir attended a boarding school in Malaysia until he trained overseas as an engineer in the USA.[2] After his training, he abruptly left his 10 siblings and 3 children to join the Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia. [3]

I remember him saying that he wanted to secure a good job and provide for the family. He used to take me sightseeing regularly and helped me with the household expenses. Then he was gone."

— Aminah Abdul Aziz, mother of Zulkifli Abdhir recalling his departure.



Abdhir, often going under the noms de guerre "Marwan", is suspected to be in charge of the south eastern Asian and Indonesian terrorist group called the Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia or KMM. The KMM is a part of the international terrorist organisation, Jemaah Islamiyah or JI, of which Zulkifli is believed to be part of its central command. The Jemaah Islamiyah is the main cause of the devastating 2002 Bali bombings and many other attacks in South Eastern Asia of which Abdhir's involvement in is also suspected.[5]

Abdhir is wanted for the allegation of being a supplier of bombs to various terrorist groups around the world. He is also under suspicion of teaching terrorists how to build bombs. Abdhir, himself, was taught to make IEDs by the terrorist Azahari Husin. He was/is involved in the building of bombs for the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, which brought him into brief collaboration with Umar Patek, before Patek's leaving to Pakistan. [6][7] Zulkifli Abdhir was indicted for arrest on 1 August 2007 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.[8] Since August 2003, Abdhir was thought to be hiding somewhere in the southern Philippines.[8]

While hiding in the Southern Philippines under the assumed protection of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, it appears he has continued to stay involved in militant Islamic activity and the training of other militants. An anonymous military source told Gulf News that, along with other South Eastern Asian militants, Abdhir has been engaged in the training of local jihadist volunteers to join The Islamic State. This was reported after the BIFF declared its allegiance to helping ISIL's cause. [9]

Family connections[edit]

His brother, Rahmat Abdhir, was arrested in California for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, providing material to terrorists, false statements, and providing material to a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (Zulkifli Abdhir). In an email between the two they discussed the exchange rates and prices of weapons, specifically an M60 assault rifle. Further investigation showed that Rahmat had wired over 10,000 dollars to his brother.[10][11] Federal agents discovered 1,000 rounds of ammunition, scopes to sniper rifles, two-way radios, military training manuals, and materials used to make bombs. Rahmat Abdhir was refused bail twice, once upon his initial arrest and a second time in 2008.[12][13] He is currently detained in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba. [14]

His brother-in-law, Taufik bin Abdul Halim was also arrested for terrorist charges in 2001 for involvement in the Atrium Mall bombing located in Jakarta, Indonesia and was later convicted.[15] [16] After 12 years in jail for his attempted bombing, Taufik was released and flown back to Johor to be with his family after being pardoned by President of Indonesia Joko Widodo. Malaysian police have promised to monitor his actions due to his high profile relation to Zulkifli. [17]

Reports of death and current location[edit]

Early reports claimed that in the Philippines Abdhir died during an airstrike on 2 February 2012. The Malaysian government asked for an official DNA comparison to the DNA of one of Abdhir's siblings. His body was never found despite reports of his death. The statements of his supposed death were later retracted as the manhunt continues.[18][19] [20]

Von Al Haq, a spokesperson for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), has claimed in 2013 that Zulkifli Abdhir is being protected by Ameril Umbra Kato's Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).[21] This claim was later corroborated by an interrogation with a detained Abu Sayyaf commander, Khair Mundos, who claimed that he travelled to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters with Abdhir. Local informants have also claimed Abdhir to have visited the province of Maguindanao. The detained Abu Sayyaf leader claims that Zulkifli Abdhir, and other high ranking Jemaah Islamiyah leader, Muhamda "Muawiyah" Ali, escaped the February airstrike that was reported to have killed them in Sulu and have taken refuge with the Bangsamoro separatists. [22] [23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Zulkifli Abdhir", FBI Website, http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/wanted_terrorists/zulkifli-abdhir/view
  2. ^ Mario J Mallari, "Westmincom seeks public help in manhunt for Malaysian militant", Tribune Online, 4 May 2011, http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110504nat3.html
  3. ^ "Mother of Malaysian Terrorist Fears She Has Lost Him to Militancy Forever: Report." Mother of Malaysian Terrorist Fears She Has Lost Him to Militancy Forever: Report. The Straits Times; Asia Report, 5 July 2014. Web. 12 August 2014. <http://www.stasiareport.com/the-big-story/asia-report/malaysia/story/mother-malaysian-terrorist-fears-she-has-lost-him-militancy>.
  4. ^ "'PRAISE BE TO GOD' - Mother of M'sia Terror Chief When Told Marwan Still Alive & Making Bombs!" 'PRAISE BE TO GOD' - Mother of M'sia Terror Chief When Told Marwan Still Alive & Making Bombs! Malaysia Chronicle, 5 July 2014. Web. 16 Dec. 2014. <http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=315651:praise-be-to-god-mother-of-msia-terror-chief-when-told-marwan-still-alive--making-bombs&Itemid=2#axzz3M66C4Uef>.
  5. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2778923.stm
  6. ^ Gordts, Eline, Hrvoje Hranjski, and Jim Gomez. "Zulkifli Bin Hir, Southeast Asia's Most Wanted Terrorist, Reportedly Killed." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 2 February 2012. Web. 20 September 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/02/zulkifli-bin-hir-kiled_n_1249460.html>.
  7. ^ Longbottom, Wil. "South-east Asia's Most-wanted Terrorist with $5m U.S. Bounty on His Head Killed in Philippines Air Strike." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 2 February 2012. Web. 20 September 2014. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2095325/Zulkifi-bin-Hir-South-east-Asias-wanted-terrorist-killed-Philippines-air-strike.html>.
  8. ^ a b Pierre Thomas, "Brothers Indicted on Terror Charges", ABC News, 3 August 2007 http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=3444001#.T4Qys9nErZ8
  9. ^ Dacanay, Barbara Mae. "100 Filipino Muslims Join Isil in Iraq." Newsletter. Gulf News, 20 Aug. 2014. Web. 13 Dec. 2014. <http://gulfnews.com/news/region/iraq/100-filipino-muslims-join-isil-in-iraq-1.1374342>.
  10. ^ Kouri, Jim. "Gobal terrorist and his sibling indicted for supporting terrorist group". Renew America. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Coté, John. "Terror charges for man- brother at large in the Philippines". SFGate. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  12. ^ Mintz, Howard. "Court Rejects Bail for San Jose Terror Suspect." MercuryNews.com. San Jose Mercury News, 15 February 2008. Web. 20 July 2014. <http://www.mercurynews.com/crime/ci_8273817>.
  13. ^ Martinez, Jennifer, and Sean Webby. "San Jose Terror Suspect Kept Guns in Home, Storage." MercuryNews.com. San Jose Mercury News, 8 August 2007. Web. 20 July 2014. <http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_6570872?source=rss>.
  14. ^ Wai, Wong C., and Farik Zolkepli. "Dangerous and on the Loose - Nation | The Star Online." Dangerous and on the Loose - Nation | The Star Online. The Star Online, 4 July 2014. Web. 6 August 2014. <http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/07/04/Most-wanted-and-not-dead-as-thought-FBI-has-put-out-a-RM16mil-bounty-on-Malaysian-who-supplies-bomb/>.
  15. ^ Abuza, Zachary. "Zulkifli Bin Hir: JI's U.S.-Trained Engineer." Jamestown Foundation. The Jamestown Foundation, 5 April 2007. Web. 24 July 2014. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jamestown.org%2Fsingle%2F%3Ftx_ttnews%255Btt_news%255D%3D4056%23.U9HCavldU6A>.
  16. ^ Nazkarim, Farrah. "Presumed Dead Militant Still Alive." New Straights Times Online. New Straights Time, 21 June 2014. Web. 30 July 2014. http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nst.com.my%2Fnode%2F4959>.
  17. ^ Zolkepli, Farik. "Cops to Monitor Taufik Due to His Links with FBI’s Most Wanted Man." The Star. Asia News Network, 15 Nov. 2014. Web. 23 Nov. 2014. <http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/11/15/Former-JI-bomb-expert-back-home-Cops-to-monitor-Taufik-due-to-his-links-with-FBIs-most-wanted-man/>.
  18. ^ http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=314852:wanted-dead-or-alive-us-fbi-offers-rm16-mil-bounty-for-msian-terror-chief-marwan&Itemid=2#axzz384LttLsO
  19. ^ "2 JI leaders among 15 killed in Sulu, says AFP", 2 February 2012, Rappler.com http://www.rappler.com/nation/1297-malaysia-show-dna-proof-of-terrorist-s-death
  20. ^ Whaley, Floyd. "Terrorist Was Not Killed in Airstrike, Malaysian Official Says." The New York Times. The New York Times, 13 March 2012. Web. 24 September 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/world/asia/zulkifli-was-not-killed-in-filipino-airstrike-malaysian-official-says.html?_r=0>.
  21. ^ name="tracking terrorism">"Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM)." TRAC. Tracking Terrorism, n.d. Web. 2 June 2014. TrackingTerrorism.Org http://www.trackingterrorism.org/group/kumpulan-mujahidin-malaysia-kmm
  22. ^ "Arrested Abu Sayyaf Bandit: Terror Suspect Alive." Www.sunstar.com.ph. Sun Star, 6 August 2014. Web. 20 September 2014. <http://www.sunstar.com.ph/breaking-news/2014/08/06/arrested-abu-sayyaf-bandit-terror-suspect-alive-358124>.
  23. ^ "Philippine Military Admits Islamist Bomb Maker Was Not Killed in 2012." South China Morning Post. South China Morning Post, 6 August 2014. Web. 22 September 2014. <http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/article/1567811/philippine-military-admits-islamist-bomb-maker-was-not-killed-2012>.

Further reading[edit]

  • ABS-CBN Story 5 March 2011
  • USA Today, 2 August 2007
  • [1], 3 August 2007
  • [2], 15 February 2008; UNITED STATES v. HIR; transcript of legal documents from the trial of Rahmat Abd Hir.

External links[edit]