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Reflections of a Reformed Jihadist: The Story of Wan Min Wan Mat

Reflections of a Reformed Jihadist: The Story of Wan Min Wan Mat


On 29 August 2012, a rehabilitated former senior member of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror network, Wan Min Wan Mat, delivered a lecture to a group of Malaysian counter-terrorism practitioners in which he sketched out the ideological rationale and aims of the JI network, unpacked in some detail its recruitment and indoctrination philosophy and methodology and also examined what in his personal view are potentially useful strategies for rehabilitating JI militants or preventing the further dissemination of JI extremist ideas. This article examines and evaluates some of the key insights made by Wan Min in his lecture, and argues that his musings are more than mere historical interest in that they have direct relevance to the current struggle against the latest incarnation of the continually evolving violent jihadist threat in Southeast Asia and globally, namely the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS or IS). The central reason for this is that the same broad ideology that animated JI -- Salafi Jihadism -- basically motivates ISIS as well. Hence, even allowing for dissimilarities in time and space, Wan Min's insights about JI could well provide useful pointers for counter-terrorism practitioners and specialists dealing with the ISIS threat today.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Ramakrishna, Kumar. 2016. "Reflections of a Reformed Jihadist: The Story of Wan Min Wan Mat." Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International & Strategic Affairs 38 (December): 495-522. http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?sid=4215d978-8887-4240-a215-dbe2eab36a14%40sessionmgr4007&vid=0&hid=4208&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#AN=120161764&db=a9h

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