Terrorists plan attacks during Ramadan for 'extra blessings'

Muzliza Mustafa

Residents gathering at a cordoned off area at a damaged bus station that was hit by bomb blasts in Jakarta, Indonesia, on May 25. Three policemen were killed after two explosions hit the bus station in eastern Jakarta a day earlier. late 24 May. Police officials suspect that two male suicide bombers were responsible for the attack. – EPA pic, May 30, 2017.

THE terror attacks in Manchester, Jakarta and Egypt last week were planned to coincide with Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, said counter-terrorism experts.

Ahmad El-Muhammady, who is involved in rehabilitating militants, and Malaysia’s Special Branch counter-terrorism unit principal assistant director Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay told The Malaysian Insight that Islamic militants believe their reward in heaven will be greater if they staged the attacks closer to Ramadan.

“That reward was the driving force, which got them to commit these ‘big operation’ terror acts,” said Ahmad.

“They often use the experience of the Prophet, who was at war during Ramadan, as justification. That is why attacks such as these are important to them.”

Ahmad said these attacks were the result of a long-recruitment process and preparation by the IS (Islamic State).

“They were just waiting for the right time to strike.”

The IS terror group has been trying to establish Khatibah Nusantara, an Islamic State in the Asian region as its territories in Syria and Iraq have been shrinking since 2016.

“As a result, it produced a spillover effect on other regions. IS sympathisers can no longer travel to Syria. Because of this constraint, they are instructed to attack from within,” said Ahmad.

The spate of terror attacks last week began on May 22 at Manchester Arena in the United Kingdom where a suicide bomber blew himself up after the Ariana Grande concert, killing 22, including children.

Two days later in Jakarta, a pair of suicide bombers struck at a bus station, killing three police officers. Six other officers and five civilians were wounded.

On May 26, gunmen attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians in central Egypt, killing at least 28 people and wounding 25 others.

The bus was travelling to the Monastery of St Samuel the Confessor, 135km from Cairo, from Minya province when it came under fire.

All three attacks were linked to IS militants and they came just days before Muslims the world over observed Ramadan on May 27.

Similar attacks took place during Ramadan in June last year. On June 12, 2016, 49 people were killed and 53 injured when gunman Omar Mateen attacked a gay nightclub in Florida before he was killed by police. Mateen had previously said he was inspired by IS.

On June 28, 2016, IS was believed to have been behind the shootings and suicide bombings at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport in Turkey. Forty-four people were killed in the mayhem.

IS also claimed responsibility for the gun attack by five militants at a local restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where 22 civilians and two police officers were killed.

Ahmad said all IS wanted now was to establish its presence and footprint in as many as possible places in the world as a show of strength.

He cautioned Malaysians to be on the alert and avoid entertainment spots, including nightclubs.

Ayob, meanwhile, said Malaysia was on alert all the time and has been taking proactive measures to curb this menace.

He said that those who subscribe to the Salafi jihadi ideology, be it IS, al-Qaeda or other extremist groups, will be inspired to launch attacks during Ramadan.

“We are constantly keeping tabs and monitoring the situation. Our laws and rehabilitation programmes have helped us in handling this problem,” he added. – May 30, 2017.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.


  • Ahmad El-Muhammady,

    "...Islamic militants believe their reward in heaven will be greater if they staged the attacks closer to Ramadan.."

    I think that all these suicide attacks are just so that the attackers do not want to puasa during Ramadan.

    Posted 7 years ago by Musa Ng · Reply

    • .... you mean in heaven no need to puasa-kah?

      Posted 7 years ago by Malaysian First · Reply