SINGAPORE: Three Singaporeans - two men and a woman - were dealt with under the Internal Security Act (ISA) between September and November this year for terror-related activities, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced in a media release on Thursday (Nov 9).
One of them was issued with a Restriction Order. The other two, including a 38-year-old housewife, were given a Detention Order.
None of them were reported by relatives or friends, said MHA in response to media queries, adding that there is no evidence that any of them had plans to carry out attacks in Singapore.
TWO DETAINED UNDER ISA
Of those detained, Abu Thalha Samad, 25, was found to be a member of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).
He lived overseas for 15 years before he was deported to Singapore in August, with the help of a government in the region that MHA did not name.
Abu Thalha was educated in JI-linked schools in the region from a young age, MHA said, adding that he also went through paramilitary training in some of the schools he attended.
"In 2014, he took bai’ah (pledge of allegiance) and became a JI member. He understood it to mean that he was duty-bound to carry out whatever instructions the JI leaders had for him, including performing armed jihad and sacrificing his life for the JI’s violent cause," MHA said.
He has been teaching in a JI-linked school since 2016 and had also served in a committee which was involved in spotting students for membership in the terror group.
Abu Thalha's Detention Order started in September this year for a period of two years.
"The JI threat in Singapore was largely neutralised following the various security actions against the JI presence in the region in the early 2000s. Nonetheless, the JI continues to be active in the region," said MHA.
The female detainee dealt with under ISA is 38-year-old housewife Munavar Baig Amina Begam, who is an Islamic State (IS) supporter and harboured the intention to join the terror group in the conflict zone, according to MHA.
Amina, a naturalised Singaporean originally from India, was radicalised by a foreign contact online, who shared pro-IS materials with her.
“She was radicalised to the extent that she was prepared to undergo military training and take up arms to fight for ISIS in the Middle East if called upon by ISIS to do so,” said MHA.
She also shared on social media materials promoting terrorism. This month, she was issued a Detention Order for a period of two years.
MHA said her husband and two children are Singapore citizens by birth. Her husband did not know that she was radicalised and was not implicated.
FULL-TIME NATIONAL SERVICEMAN RADICALISED ONLINE
The third Singaporean dealt with is Adzrul Azizi Bajuri. The 19-year-old was serving National Service when he was arrested for becoming radicalised by pro-IS material online, MHA said. He was handed a Restriction Order in September.
A Logistics Assistant in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) when he was serving NS, he came across IS-related material in 2014 while watching videos related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict online.
He then became radicalised through continued exposure to these materials.
"In mid-2016, Adzrul considered fighting for ISIS in Syria, as he saw the armed conflict there as a sectarian struggle between Sunnis and Shias. From August 2017 onwards, he started having some doubts about the legitimacy of ISIS’s ideology and its violent tactics," MHA said, adding that Adzrul will be required to undergo counselling, including religious counselling.
The ministry also revealed in response to media queries that some of Adzul's relatives and associates had seen indications of his radicalism, but they did not inform the authorities.
"Adzrul’s radicalisation was left unchecked because no one came forward to report him. Fortunately, he was detected before he could engage in armed violence overseas," said MHA.
"His case and others this year show how challenging it is for the authorities to detect individuals who are self-radicalised. It is therefore critical that if people are aware that someone they know is radicalised, they should quickly report to the authorities, before the individual gets involved in terrorist conduct."
Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, said these cases were "another reminder that (the) community requires support and guidance from sound and credible religious sources".
He also warned against underestimating the influence of online sources, urging the community to "be very discerning" about what they see on the Internet.
Meanwhile, a Restriction Order (RO) issued in 2013 against Mustafa Kamal Mohammad, 62, was allowed to lapse in September this year, said MHA.
Mustafa was a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
"While on RO, he was cooperative and responsive to rehabilitation efforts. As such, he no longer requires supervision under the RO regime," MHA said.