Mahmud Ahmad

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Mahmud bin Ahmad
Born (1978-09-25) 25 September 1978 (age 41)
Died 7 June 2017
Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, Philippines
Nationality Malaysian

Dr. Mahmud bin Ahmad, known as Abu Handzalah (25 September 1978 – 7 June 2017), was a Malaysian professor of Islamic law and a senior Islamic militant with Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines.


He was born in Batu Caves, Gombak District, Selangor.

In the 1990s he travelled to Pakistan to study, where he obtained two bachelor's degrees from the International Islamic University, Islamabad. In the late 1990s he is said to have attended an Al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan. He has a master's degree from the International Islamic University Malaysia and a Doctoral degree from the University of Malaya. While teaching at the University of Malaya, he was a senior lecturer in the Department of Aqidah and Islamic Thought in the Academy of Islamic Studies.[1]

According to fellow teachers at the University of Malaya, it was in late 2013 that he began expressing openly his views with respect to jihad. He wrote a journal titled "Faith of the Mujahidin" and founded a religious school called Open Tahfiz Centre.[2]

In March 2014, he arranged for at least four Malaysians to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

He has been on the Malaysian most wanted list since he travelled to the Philippines in July 2014.[3]

According to the head of the Philippine Armed Forces, General Eduardo Año, he was killed on 7 June 2017 during the Battle of Marawi in the Philippines.[4][5] It was alleged Mahmud funelled over 30 million pesos from the Islamic State to gain firearms, food and other supplies to finance the militants' siege on Marawi. However, Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said he believed Mahmud is still alive.[6]


  1. ^ "Pensyarah UM Antara Yang Dikehendaki PDRM". TV 14 (in Burmese). 2 July 2014. Archived from the original on 25 December 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  2. ^ "UM lecturer preached martyrdom and holy war, colleagues say". Malay Mail Online. 3 July 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Mahmud – a lecturer turned deadly militant". The Star. Star Media Group. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  4. ^ Associated Press (23 June 2017). "Malaysian financier in Marawi siege believed to be dead". Archived from the original on 9 November 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Report: Former UM lecturer-turned-militant killed in Marawi battle". Malay Mail Online. 23 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Philippines: IS funded siege through Malaysian militant". AP News. 23 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
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