Malaysian Mohd Noor Fikrie Abd Kahar was another Facebook
recruit of regional terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).
The son of a retired policeman is a classic example of one who
became self-radicalised through the social media and killed in a
failed terror mission.
His intended target remains a mystery but Philippine police
said the explosives could have gone off in a shopping mall, hotel
or a church as pre-Christmas Simbang Gambi (dawn masses) were about
There is also speculation that it could have been Mohd Noor
Fikrie's initiation rite as a JI fighter to rise up its ranks.
Despite being a relative newcomer, he was already in close
contact with top JI leader and fellow Malaysian Zulkifli Abdul Hir,
also known as Marwan.
Marwan is believed to have escaped a Philippine security
forces offensive on February 2, which killed Abu Sayyaf leader
Umbra Jumdail Gumbahali, also known as Dr Abu.
Kedah-born Mohd Noor Fikrie, 26, was in touch with Marwan and
the Abu Sayyaf via social media and used a Sabahan contact to
travel between Sandakan and Zamboanga City in southern
According to intelligence sources, Mohd Noor Fikrie was with
Marwan and Abu Sayyaf terrorists during encounters with the
Philippine military and police over the past few months.
“JI and Abu Sayyaf were operating together in the Sulu area
but JI moved to Mindanao when the Philippine security forces,
supported by technical help from US and Australia, put intense
pressure on them,” said a source.
After one recent attack on their hideout, Mohd Noor Fikrie was
among those who managed to escape unscathed.
“But in his haste, he left his Malaysian identity card
behind,” the source added.
That was how Philippine intelligence units kept track of him
until he resurfaced in Davao on Friday night with his burqa-clad
Filipina wife, Annabelle Nieva Lee, and a backpack containing a
bomb on his fatal mission.
Mohd Noor Fikrie finished secondary school and worked in
several jobs in Malacca where his father was a sergeant at the
police contingent headquarters' training centre until he retired in
2002 and left for the family's hometown of Benut in Pontian,
Mohd Noor Fikrie married a woman identified only as Nuzul and
they lived in Kampung Bahagia, Klebang in Malacca until they
divorced late last year.
He then left for Mindanao and married Lee, a Muslim convert
from Sorsogon, a city regarded as the gateway to southern
Philippines soon after his arrival.
It is learnt that over the past few years, he was drawn to JI
and its aims and kept in touch with key operatives via social