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40-year-old man detained under ISA for wanting to join Isis in Syria, 2 others served restriction orders

SINGAPORE — One Singaporean has been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and two others placed under restriction orders for their involvement in terrorism-related conduct, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday (June 25).

SINGAPORE — One Singaporean has been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and two others placed under restriction orders for their involvement in terrorism-related conduct, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday (June 25).

The first, 40-year-old Imran Mahmood, was detained in January, after investigations showed that he had been radicalised and intended to travel to Syria to join the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis).

His radicalisation process started sometime in 2013, when he started listening to online lectures by foreign religious preachers, including those who preached about the imminent coming of the end-times, the MHA said.

Imran, who was unemployed, became a strong supporter of Isis and a year later, in 2014, he “developed a desire” to live under Isis’ caliphate in Iraq and Syria and “researched on viable entry points for himself into Syria”, the ministry added.

“He was willing to take up arms to defend or expand Isis’ territory, and believed that he would achieve martyrdom if he died fighting for Isis,” the MHA said.

However, Imran started to question the terrorist group’s legitimacy when it suffered territorial losses in 2017. 

Nevertheless, he did not denounce the group’s ideology, and continued to believe that he had a religious duty to take up arms alongside any group attempting to establish an Islamic caliphate in Syria.

Imran was also prepared to join other militant and terrorist groups involved in the Syrian conflict. These include the Free Syrian Army and Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, which is aligned to another terrorist group Al-Qaeda.

RESTRICTION ORDERS ON TWO OTHERS

Two other individuals were placed on restriction orders. One of them is 39-year-old food deliveryman Mohamad Fairuz bin Junaidi, who was issued the order in March.

Like Imran, he had been radicalised and considered travelling to Syria to join Isis after being “emotionally affected” by reports of the killing of Sunni Muslims in the Syrian civil war, the MHA said.

“He believed that he would be a martyr if he died while doing so. He also refused to believe mainstream media reporting about Isis’ atrocities, and saw them as fabrications to discredit the terrorist group,” the ministry said.

Similarly, Fairuz also had doubts about Isis’ legitimacy in 2017 after reading negative reports on the group on Facebook and “was also swayed by criticisms against Isis”, said the MHA.

The other Singaporean placed on a restriction order is 62-year-old production technician Rasidah Mazlan.

The MHA issued the order on her in March after investigations established that she had been in contact with multiple foreign entities suspected of involvement in terrorism-related activities, including individuals who had expressed support for Isis. 

Placing her under the order would prevent her from making further contact with those individuals, said the MHA.

“Investigations showed that Rasidah’s contacts with these individuals were mainly driven by her deep sympathy for Muslims suffering in overseas conflicts,” the ministry added.

“Her indiscriminate online activity rendered her vulnerable to adverse influence and recruitment by terrorist elements who pose a threat to Singapore.”

Commenting on the recent arrests, Singapore’s Islamic Religious Council (Muis) said they reflect the ongoing threat of self-radicalisation, especially when individuals do not verify online information and “fall prey to radical propaganda that exploit geo-political conflicts to boost their appeal”.

“Such dangers are still prevalent online, even after extremist groups are physically defeated,” said Muis in a media statement released on Tuesday.

“We are glad that such arrests are few and far in between. That is because the community rejects any notion of exclusivist and extremist teachings in our midst and are on guard against them.”

Related topics

ISA terrorism ISIS

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