SINGAPORE: A 35-year-old Singaporean man was sentenced to 30 months' jail on Thursday (Oct 17) for financing terrorism after he sent more than S$1,000 to a hate preacher.
Ahmed Hussein Abdul Kadir Sheik Uduman, a former information technology engineer, is the first Singaporean to be sentenced under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act.
He had given S$1,059 in July 2016 and another US$62 (about S$87) in September that year to a preacher living on Caribbean Island in Jamaica who was facilitating terrorist acts, according to court documents.
Hussein was arrested by the Internal Security Department in July 2018. He was detained under the Internal Security Act in August 2018 because he was found to be radicalised and wanted to undertake armed violence in Syria in support of Islamic State, the court heard.
WATCHED VIDEOS OF RADICAL PREACHER ONLINE
In 2013, Hussein came to know of the hate preacher Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal through watching videos online.
He was aware that Sheikh Abdullah was a "radical preacher" who supported the use of violence against "non-Muslims attacking a Muslim area or location", and had been arrested previously for preaching violence in the United Kingdom.
The hate preacher was convicted and sentenced in 2003 to nine years imprisonment in the UK for soliciting the murders of Jews, Americans, Hindus and Christians and using threatening words to stir up racial hatred, among other things.
After serving four years of his sentence, Sheikh Abdullah was deported to Jamaica where he is under constant monitoring by Jamaican Special Branch Investigators and
is banned by the Islamic Council of Jamaica from preaching at any of its mosques.
The court was told that Hussein agreed with Sheikh Abdullah's religious ideology and preaching.
“Despite the fact that Sheikh Abdullah’s preaching was deeply steeped in violence, the accused reached out to Sheikh Abdullah and managed to establish communications with him over Facebook, email and the online messaging service Whatsapp," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Yonghui.
"The accused was keen to donate, and did in fact donate, despite having reasonable grounds to believe that the money he donated would be used in whole for benefitting Sheikh Abdullah, a person facilitating terrorist acts," court documents read.
Hussein then made donations to the hate preacher through two middlemen in 2018.
In an effort to cover up any evidence, he deleted emails from his email account and also deleted his email account that was linked to his Facebook account, which contained records of his communication with Sheikh Abdullah.
“The accused admitted that he viewed the donation as a ‘risky’ transaction as he had sent (money) to an intermediary of Sheikh Abdullah, a known preacher of violent religious ideology, and was aware that he could get in trouble for the donation,” the court was told.
In his submissions on sentence, Mr Chong said: "Taking into account the unique social environment of Singapore as a multi-racial society emphasising the importance of religious harmony and tolerance, it cannot be overstated that public interest requires an unequivocal clampdown on offences related to the financing of terrorist and radical rhetoric, as such offences threaten the very fabric of Singapore's society."
Anyone found guilty of providing property and services for terrorist purposes may be jailed for up to 10 years, fined up to S$500,000, or both.