SINGAPORE: A 27-year-old Bangladeshi man who was earlier arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) was charged in court on Thursday (Dec 23) for terrorism financing, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a press release.
Ahmed Faysal was arrested under ISA in November last year for investigations into terrorism-related activities and issued with an order of detention.
Prior to his arrest, Faysal had worked as a construction worker in Singapore since early 2017.
He became radicalised in 2018 and was "attracted to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate in Syria", said the ministry.
In mid-2019, Faysal shifted his allegiance to Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), another militant group fighting to establish an Islamic caliphate in Syria.
A parallel investigation by the Commercial Affairs Department found that in 2020, Faysal had allegedly transferred up to S$891 on 15 occasions through online platforms to fundraising campaigns for Syria-based organisations.
According to court documents, Faysal transferred the money via online platforms such as JustGiving, Heroic Hearts Organization and Give Brite. He contributed between S$5 and about S$400 to fundraising campaigns Ramadan 2020 Emergency Homes for Syria and Medical Aid Syria.
"He was aware that these monies could, either entirely or in part, be used to benefit the HTS’s cause in Syria," said MHA in its release.
"The act of providing money that one has reasonable grounds to believe will benefit terrorist entities, regardless of the amount and purpose, is a serious offence."
If convicted and sentenced to imprisonment, the order of detention against Ahmed Faysal will be cancelled, and he will serve the sentence imposed by the court.
To prevent him from spreading his radical ideas to other inmates, he will be held separately while serving his prison sentence, added the ministry.
MHA reminded members of the public "not to remit money of any amount, provide any support through the provision of services, supplies, or any material to a terrorist organisation or for facilitating or carrying out any terrorist act".
Anyone convicted of the offence of providing property and services for terrorist purposes faces a jail term of up to 10 years, and a maximum fine of S$500,000, or both.