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Singapore

Suspect in Buangkok sword incident was investigated by ISD for sharing images of militant groups online

There was no indication that he was radicalised or intended to engage in armed violence, says the agency.

Suspect in Buangkok sword incident was investigated by ISD for sharing images of militant groups online

Police seized the sword as a case exhibit. (Photo: CNA/Marcus Mark Ramos)

SINGAPORE: The man who was arrested for wielding a sword in Buangkok on Monday was investigated by the Internal Security Department (ISD) in 2016 for sharing images online of militant groups such as HAMAS’ Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, said the agency on Tuesday (Mar 15).

ISD identified the suspect as 37-year-old Singaporean Fadhil Yusop, adding that he allegedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the Buangkok incident.

The police had received multiple calls on Monday afternoon after a man was seen swinging a sword in the middle of Buangkok Crescent and stopping oncoming traffic. The suspect allegedly swung his weapon at a man at the traffic junction in front of Buangkok Square Mall, before other members of the public came forward to restrain him.

"Fadhil is believed to have acted alone, and preliminary investigations thus far do not suggest that the incident is an act of terror. He had allegedly consumed some unknown pills prior to leaving his home with the sword," said ISD, adding that it is working with the police to investigate the incident.

After being investigated in 2016 for sharing images of militant groups online, Fadhil was given with a written warning for his social media posts, said ISD. "There was no indication that he was radicalised or intended to engage in armed violence," it added.

In 2020, Fadhil was arrested by the police after approaching the Imam at Masjid Al-Mawaddah with a knife.

“ISD’s joint investigations with police at the time did not suggest that Fadhil’s attack was terrorism-related,” the agency said.

“Fadhil was found to have consumed a large number of pills containing dextromethorphan, which contributed to his behaviour. He was sentenced to nine months and two weeks’ imprisonment and was subsequently released in July 2020, (after his sentence was backdated).

“Although Fadhil was assessed not to be radicalised, he was referred for religious counselling after this second incident as a matter of precaution."

He will be charged in court on Wednesday for voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means. 

"ISD will continue to work with the police to investigate Fadhil’s latest attack and will provide an update in due course," the agency said.

Source: CNA/ng(gs)

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