PETALING JAYA - Mohd Amin Bacho is a cruel killer who has been a member of the Darul Islam Sabah militant group since 2001.
He was one of three terrorists who escaped a police dragnet when 13 suspected terrorists were arrested in 2011.
The others who escaped were Zulkifli Khir or Marwan, the former head of Kumpulan Militant Malaysia (KMM), and Jeknal Adil, all Malaysians and members of militant groups such as Darul Islam Sabah. His cruel streak became evident when video recordings of him slaughtering hostages of the Abu Sayyaf group were uploaded on YouTube.
Special Task Force (Operations and Counter Terrorism) director Comm Datuk Seri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said Mohd Amin had on several occasions attended military training at Abu Sayyaf group camps between 2005 and 2006.
"We believe Mohd Amin was also involved in conflicts in Poso (in Indonesia) in early 2001," Comm Mohamad Fuzi said yesterday.
Sources said Mohd Amin, who was born in Tawau in April 1983, joined the Darul Islam Sabah shortly after it was formed in early 2000, and planned to launch suicide bombings in the state in 2006 in response to police operations against the militant group in Tawau.
They added that he was a bomb expert who helped put together explosive materials for recent terror attacks in the southern Phillipines.
Comm Mohamad Fuzi said Mohd Amin fled to the southern Phillipines in 2006 when police arrested 16 members of Darul Islam Sabah and detained them under the now abolished Internal Security Act 1960.
"Since then Mohd Amin has been collaborating with the Abu Sayyaf group which is responsible for terrorist attacks in that region."
Comm Mohamad Fuzi said the last major operation against the group was the 2011 swoop.
Darul Islam began as an Islamist group in Indonesia that aimed to turn that country into an Islamic state.
It was started in 1942 by Islamists coordinated by radical politician Sekarmadji Maridjan Kartosuwirjo.
Sekarmadji was an Indonesian who led the Darul Islam rebellion against the Indonesian government from 1949 to 1962, with the objective of overthrowing the secular Pancasila ideology and establishing Negara Islam Indonesia (Islamic State of Indonesia) based on syariah law. He was executed by firing squad on Sept 5, 1962.
The movement has produced offshoots that range from Jemaah Islamiyah to non-violent religious groups.
The Darul Islam Sabah is one of these splinters, and is believed to have assisted in the 2002 Bali bombings.
These militants had plotted to create an Islamic state spanning Indonesia, Malaysia and the southern Philippines.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib, meanwhile, said the Darul Islam Sabah members were keeping a low profile and were operating as small cells at various locations around the state.
The members were believed to be most active in the east coast districts, he said, adding that police were keeping a close watch on the group.