Indonesian Islamic State leader in Syria killed in drone strike: Security source

Indonesian Islamic State leader in Syria killed in drone strike: Security source

Starbucks Jakarta bombing
This file photo taken on January 14, 2016 shows police securing the area in front of a damaged Starbucks coffee shop after a series of explosions hit central Jakarta. (Photo: AFP/Romeo Gacad) 

KUALA LUMPUR: An Indonesian Islamic State (IS) leader in Syria and influential online recruiter and bomb-making instructor, Bahrum Naim, 34, has been killed in a drone strike in Syria, according to security sources.

His propaganda via the Internet radicalised and influenced many Indonesians to join IS in Syria. He also recruited people to become suicide bombers, including two Indonesian maids.

“Bahrum Naim was killed by a US drone strike in Syria before Ramadan,” a regional security source told Channel NewsAsia.

The month-long Muslim holy month of Ramadan started in mid-May this year.

It was previously reported that Naim was killed in November last year but authorities were not able to verify his death.

Regional security officials expect his death to weaken IS propaganda and funding in Indonesia in the short term.

“Naim is very influential. He influenced many people to join IS. He taught people how to make bombs via the Telegram application where he uploaded many bomb-making manuals,” said the source.

“With his death, at the very least, it will reduce IS (rate of) propaganda, recruitment drives, bomb-making tutorials and funding (for terror activities) in Indonesia,” the source added.

Naim is known to be a major source of funding for terror attacks and activities in Indonesia, including the 2016 suicide bombing and shooting at a Starbucks cafe in Jakarta which killed four civilians and injured more than 20 people.

“It is estimated he recruited at least 10 people to assemble bombs and to become suicide bombers,” a counter-terrorism source told Channel NewsAsia.

Naim was placed on the United Nations Security Council Sanctions list in July 2017 for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities” in support of IS as well as recruiting people for the terror organisation.

Source: CNA/ac/(ra)