Singaporean man charged with giving about S$1,000 to Islamic State militant in Syria for terrorist acts
SINGAPORE: A Singaporean businessman was charged in court on Monday (Jul 19) with providing money to an Islamic State militant for the purpose of facilitating terrorist acts, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Mohamed Kazali Salleh is accused of giving a total of about S$1,000 over three occasions to Syria-based Islamic State militant Malaysian Wan Mohd Aquil Wan Zainal Abidin @ Akel Zainal, who is "believed to be the most senior ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) fighter in Syria" prior to his reported death in March 2019, said MHA.
Kazali, a businessman based in Malaysia, was arrested by Malaysian Special Branch officers in December 2018.
He was deported to Singapore and handed over to the Internal Security Department on Jan 7, 2019 for investigations into his terrorism-related activities. He was issued with an Order of Detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in January 2019 for supporting terrorist group Islamic State.
MHA said Kazali was a "close associate" of Akel Zainal.
A parallel investigation by the police's Commercial Affairs Department found that in 2013 and 2014, Kazali allegedly provided a total of RM1,500 (S$576) and US$351.75 (S$450) over three occasions to Akel Zainal.
The funds were purportedly intended for facilitating terrorist acts in Syria, said MHA.
"The act of providing money in support of terrorist purposes, regardless of the amount, is a serious offence under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act," said MHA.
If convicted, the detention order against Kazali 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, and will continue to undergo rehabilitation whilst serving his prison sentence," said the ministry.
"An assessment will be made at the end of his sentence whether he has been successfully rehabilitated or remains a threat to society. If he remains a threat, he may be detained further under the ISA."
MHA reminded members of the public not to transfer money or provide support through the provision of services, supplies or any material to a terrorist organisation, or for facilitating or carrying out terrorist acts.
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.
Anyone with information on such activities should inform the authorities promptly, said MHA.
"Terrorism and terrorism financing are grave threats to domestic and international security, and global action is required to deprive terrorist groups of funding and materials," added the ministry.
"Singapore is part of this global effort and is strongly committed to combatting terrorism financing, regardless of whether the monies are used to facilitate terrorist acts locally or abroad."