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Al-Ma’unah - a cult that raided an army base 20 years ago

KINIGUIDE | On Merdeka Day, 13 men were granted a royal pardon. Malaysiakini explains what they did 20 years ago which landed them in jail.

How could a ragtag group take over an army camp?

On July 2, 2000 a little-known group calling themselves the Persaudaraan Ilmu Dalam Al-Ma’unah (Brotherhood of Inner Power) shocked the nation when they carried out a daring raid on a Malaysian Army Reserve camp in Gerik, Perak.

The group, better known as Al-Ma'unah, was led by a fanatical ex-army private Mohamed Amin Mohamed Razali, who combined extreme religious and political beliefs.

Al Ma'unah leader Mohamed Amin Mohamed Razali.

Impersonating army officers, 20 members of Al-Ma’unah seized weapons from the armoury at the 304th Malaysian Army Reserve (Rejimen Askar Wataniah) camp.

The Al-Ma’unah members came dressed up as senior military officers and arrived at the reserve camp in three well-disguised Pajeros.

They pretended it was a surprise inspection and took possession of much of the weaponry and communications there. They were believed to have even a forged letter from the Defence Ministry, using the real letterhead.

They took hold of a large cache of arms including 97 M16 assault rifles, two Steyr AUG rifles, four GPMGs, six light machine guns, five grenade launchers, 182 M16 magazines, eight extra barrels of GPMGs, three extra barrel of LMGs, 26 bayonets, 9,095 rounds of 5.56mm and 60 rounds of 40mm ammunition.

After the raid on the army camp, what did they do?

The group then travelled 100km south and holed themselves up in a village called Sauk near Kuala Kangsar and issued a demand that they would move to besiege Kuala Lumpur and wage a 'holy' war if...

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