SINGAPORE: A self-radicalised Malaysian man working in Singapore was arrested under the Internal Security Act and repatriated to Malaysia, announced the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a media release on Friday (Feb 9).
Muhammad Nur Hanief Abdul Jalil, 33, was working as a driver with a Singapore airfreight company. He had access to the restricted Changi Airfreight Centre, which provides services to Changi Airport.
While there was no indication that he had tried to radicalise others or plan any attacks in Singapore, MHA said his radicalisation makes him a security threat. He was arrested in January and repatriated to Malaysia this month.
According to MHA, investigations revealed that since 2008, Hanief had perused online materials of foreign extremist preachers, including Imran Hosein, Zakir Naik and Anjem Choudary. He was also influenced by Ismail Menk and Haslin Baharim, who propagated segregationist and divisive teachings.
Hanief became convinced that he should travel to Syria or Palestine to participate in the conflict.
He was prepared to join any militant group there, including Islamic State, Free Syrian Army or Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, said MHA, as he believed that the groups will ultimately unite at the "end-of-times".
Late last year, Hanief decided to act on his plans to go to Syria or Palestine after "suffering setbacks" in his work and personal life.
"He contacted Haslin Baharim and sought his advice on whether he would become a martyr if he was killed in a conflict zone in Syria," said MHA. "Haslin’s response was that it was God’s will if one should die as a martyr, which Hanief interpreted as an affirmative reply."
Hanief held various jobs in Singapore since 2011.
A Malaysian police source told Channel NewsAsia that he is now in police custody and is being investigated under the Special Offences (Security Measures) Act 2012.
A separate source said he was handed over on Feb 2, and will be held for 28 days.
LAPSE OF RESTRICTION ORDERS
Separately, MHA announced that the Restriction Orders (RO) issued against four self-radicalised Singaporeans were allowed to lapse upon expiry last December.
The four men are: Muhammad Zamri Abdullah, 36, Zakaria Rosdan, 27, Muhammad Khairul Sofri Osman, 33, and Jemaah Islamiyah member Mohd Azmi Ali, aged 49.
MHA said Zamri was detained under ISA in December 2007. He was radicalised through radical propaganda in publications, videos and the Internet, and had attempted to make arrangements to participate in militant jihad overseas. He was released from detention and placed on RO in December 2011.
Zakaria and Khairul were placed on RO without being detained in December 2013. They were radicalised after viewing radical online videos and websites and were inspired to undertake violent jihad in places of conflict like Syria.
Zakaria had tried to establish contact with a number of foreign militant entities online in an attempt to join them and get to conflict zones. Khairul had encouraged Zakaria, abetting him in his plans, said MHA.
As for Azmi, he fled Singapore in December 2001 in the wake of security operations against Jemaah Islamiyah.
He was arrested overseas with the help of regional authorities. After being deported to Singapore in December 2009, he was detained under ISA. He was released from detention in December 2013 and placed on RO.