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17-year-old secondary school student detained under ISA for supporting Isis

SINGAPORE — A 17-year-old secondary school student has been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for supporting the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Monday (Feb 10).

A flag of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis). A 17-year-old secondary school student had been radicalised by a foreign online contact who introduced him to pro-Isis social media groups in 2017, MHA said.

A flag of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis). A 17-year-old secondary school student had been radicalised by a foreign online contact who introduced him to pro-Isis social media groups in 2017, MHA said.

SINGAPORE — A 17-year-old secondary school student has been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for supporting the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Monday (Feb 10).

He was first investigated in September 2017 when he was 15 years old, after he posted defaced images of President Halimah Yacob on social media and called on Isis to behead her for supporting Singapore, which he viewed as an “infidel” state, the ministry said in a statement.

He had been radicalised by a foreign online contact who introduced him to pro-Isis social media groups in 2017, it added.

Through these groups, he gained access to what he believed was exclusive Isis content. In his eyes, Isis was a powerful group that was fighting for Islam and its use of violence against its opponents was therefore justified, the MHA said.

“Despite efforts by MHA since 2017 to steer him away from the radical path, he remained a staunch supporter of Isis,” the ministry said.

“He was willing to assist Isis in its online propaganda efforts and undertake other activities if called upon by Isis to do so.”

Even with the demise of Isis’ so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq, he still believed in the terrorist group and its violent cause, the MHA said.

However, there are no signs that he had spread his pro-Isis views to others around him.

In a statement addressing the teenager’s detention, Singapore’s Islamic Religious Council (Muis) said that it would like to “categorically debunk the views that he was influenced to believe, i.e. that Muslims cannot live in a secular country and take up any roles in government or as the Head of State”.

“The Singapore Muslim community is a clear example of confident Muslims thriving in our secular and multi-religious context and actively contributing to our public institutions and society as a whole,” Muis said.

The religious authority emphasised the importance of:

  • a strong religious foundation for the young and guidance from credible religious teachers

  • a strong support network of family, teachers and friends to whom the young can turn to

  • the danger of online predators who target susceptible individuals and influence them with misguided ideologies

Muis urged the community to step up efforts to take care of and guide the young in their formative years and help them develop a “strong and positive foundation of knowledge and values”.

RELEASE OF FORMER JI MEMBER

Separately, the MHA said 28-year-old Abu Thalha bin Samad, a former member of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), was released on a Restriction Order when his Order of Detention expired in September 2019.

“He had shown good progress in his rehabilitation and was assessed to no longer pose a security threat requiring preventive detention,” the MHA said.

Related topics

Ministry of Home Affairs ISIS radicalisation terrorism crime secondary school

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