'My dad died long time ago, no need to claim his body'
Published on: Saturday, February 07, 2015

Johor: The family of Zilkifli Hir wants to close the chapter on the alleged Jermaah Islamiyah leader who was killed in a raid in the Philippines last week.They have no intention to claim the body of Zilkifli, also known as Marwan.

When approached, his daughter reluctantly spoke. She said: "To us, our father died a long time ago, there is no need to claim the body."

A male relative, under the condition of anonymity, said the family had been informed six times, over the years, that he had been killed.

"I am tired of saying Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un (surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return).

He echoed Marwan's daughter's sentiments, saying that to him and the rest of the family the man they call Zul died 15 years ago when he walked out on the family without an explanation.

"All he told us were lies after lies. We are the ones who were forced to face the predicament of his doings. More so after he was labelled as the mastermind behind the 2002 Bali Bombings," he said, adding that the only person who still saw the good in Marwan was his mother Aminah Abdul Aziz, 69.

Aminah, he said, still haboured hope that Marwan survived the raid in Mamasapano, Maguidanao.

Since the news of her son's fate, she moved from their house in Jeram Masjid, Bakri here to one of her children's houses in Kuala Lumpur. The man was bitter about the path of destruction that Marwan took which caused his family anguish. He said he was unsure if Marwan knew the kind of pain, hurt and embarrassment they had to endure.

"He broke our family up, supposedly in the name of religion. I am a Muslim, too, and the Quran I read never asked us to do such things.

"His children stay just a few doors away from his family's house, but we don't get to see them. But I understand why they are that way.

"He broke up too. Even Aminah misses them, but they don't come over."

The man spoke with anger in his eyes when he spoke of Marwan's brother, Rahmat. He has been detained at Guantanamo Bay since 2007.

"Rahmat had a beautiful life with his wife and children prior to his 2007 arrest, which Zulkifli destroyed with a single visit.

"Suddenly he was accused of funding acts of terrorism when all he did was give his brother some money for food. We knew him well. He never shared Zul's ideology.

"Rahmat is paying the price for being naive about what his brother was all about. That bag filled with bomb-making paraphernalia that Zul left at his house, which Rahmat didn't open, did him in," he said, adding that Rahmat had given up hope of being released.

The man clarified reports that Taufik Abdul Halim, who was released by Jakarta last year after serving time for his role in the bombing of Plaza Atrium in Jakarta in 2001, was Marwan's brother-in-law, and not his brother. "We remember him as someone very quiet. Not very intelligent but hardworking. He calls Zul 'Abang Cheng' and held Zul in high regard.

"Taufik was always running errands for Zul who manipulated him to join his terror group." The man said that family did discuss bringing Marwan's body back.

"We did discuss bringing Zul's body back but we were also advised against it. The family knows that his body is riddled with bullets and to confirm his identity, they had to cut off one of his fingers to match it with Rahmat's DNA."

"We were told that it may cost us RM20,000 to bring back his body but we think that money should be put to better use," he said.

Marwan, 49, dubbed a bomb expert, was a US-trained engineer before his involvement in terrorism.

The Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said that Malaysia would not make arrangements for the body to be flown back.


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