Facebook group publishes Maldivian jihadi Azlif’s obituary

A Facebook page has published today the obituary and pictures of Maldivian jihadi Azlif Rauf who reportedly died in Syria in mid-May.

“The purpose of this page isn’t, by any means, to spread any propaganda. The reason we have taken special measures about the case of Azlif (Rahimahullah) is because people continuously keep slandering and putting false allegations on him,” the newly created page Haqqu said.

The former Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF) officer is a suspect in the brutal murder of MP Dr Afrasheem Ali in 2012. He reportedly left the Maldives in December with six members of the Kuda Henveiru gang.

He was under house arrest at the time.

Azlif’s family was reportedly informed of his death on May 17, but there has been no independent verification of his death.

Opposition politicians have questioned whether he had in fact gone to Syria and suggested he may have fled the country to escape prosecution.

Haqqu, created on May 15, supports the Islamic State. It has published 11 pictures of Azlif. In some pictures he is wearing military clothing and posing with a rifle alone. In others, three other men who look to be Maldivian and other foreign fighters pose with him.

Azlif with friends in Syria

Azlif jihad

Haqqu is also the name of a website created in late 2014 which featured IS-related news in Dhivehi as well as translations of a sermon by IS Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The website appears to be inaccessible now.

A Twitter account by the same name last tweeted in November 28 on currency in the Islamic State.

In the obituary, Haqqu said Azlif was born in Malé and joined the MNDF after completing secondary school.

“During these times in life, he was associated with gangs and gang fights. If it were to be described shortly, we would have to say that he had a stained past, but despite all of this, he was a great leader, a caring father, and a compassionate husband.”

Despite a life long journey on a strayed path, Allah showed him the true path in 2013, Haqqu said.

“He immediately sacrificed all his worldly happiness and dedicated himself, to gain knowledge about Islam.”

His new friends were “baffled by his dedication, and commitment,” but they appreciated him in the same way his old gang members did, Haqqu said.

Azlif left the Maldives in December “despite being under close watch from the Kufr [infidel] police.” Citing fellow fighters in Syria, Haqqu said Azlif’s new goal had been to kill as many non-Muslims as possible.

He was reportedly part of a 12-member platoon.

“His brothers there described him as a soft, and silent man, who struck, sharp and accurately at the right times, just like a snake.” He was shot in the hamstring and killed in a skirmish near an airport Quarius Airport in a region called Wilayat Al Halab.

A man called Abu Arsalaan who was reportedly with Azlif at the time of his death said that “he could make out Azlif (Rahimahuallah)’s face even though it was a dark night, due to the glow in his face.”

Azlif has three children, two girls and one boy.

In January, newspaper Haveeru said Azlif had attempted to take his daughters and then-pregnant wife with him, but was prevented by his wife’s family.

The majority of Facebook users who commented on the post left prayers for Azlif, saying they hoped Allah would accept Azlif as a martyr and would grant him eternity in heaven.

“A good example to those who have military training but do nothing to help the ummah,” one commenter said.

Others questioned the authenticity of the post. One pointed out the page had been created just before Azlif’s death was reported.

Haqqu said in reply: “The fact that this page was created soon before the martyrdom of Azlif (Rahimahullah) is merely a coincidence. We had one other page named Haqqu, but since at the time, the brothers were more focused on updating the Haqqu website, the page wasn’t up to date. You can search for yourself.”

The police were unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

The police had forwarded terrorism charges against Azlif to the prosecutor general’s office over Afrasheem’s murder. But the PG had not filed charges at the court.

Hussain Humam Ahmed, now serving a life sentence over the murder, had said Azlif had planned the murder in October 2012. Humam later retracted the confession and claimed it had come under duress.

Nearly a dozen Maldivians are reported to have died in Syria. A majority reportedly fought with the Al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al Nusra front.

The government is working on a new terrorism law to criminalise participation in foreign wars. The police in January said more than 50 Maldivians are in Syria, but the opposition says the figure could be as high as 200.