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Self-radicalised 29-year-old mover detained under ISA for wanting to join the Taliban in Afghanistan

SINGAPORE — A 29-year-old mover at a logistics company was detained in April under the Internal Security Act (ISA) after having made preparations to head to overseas conflict zones to undertake armed violence.

Self-radicalised 29-year-old mover detained under ISA for wanting to join the Taliban in Afghanistan
Radjev Lal Madan Lal admitted that he was willing to conduct an attack in Singapore or against Singapore’s interests if instructed to do so by either preacher Imran Hosein or the Black Flag Army.
  • Radjev Lal Madan Lal, 29, was detained in April under the Internal Security Act (ISA)
  • He had made preparations to travel to overseas conflict zones to undertake armed violence
  • He had become deeply radicalised by the online teachings of foreign radical preachers

SINGAPORE — A 29-year-old mover at a logistics company was detained in April under the Internal Security Act (ISA) after having made preparations to head to overseas conflict zones to undertake armed violence.

In a statement on Tuesday (May 10), the Internal Security Department (ISD) said that Radjev Lal Madan Lal, 29, was considering going to Afghanistan to join Islamic militant group Taliban at the time of his arrest.

Radjev had started down the path of radicalisation in 2013 after he was introduced to the online sermons of foreign radical preacher Imran Hosein. These sermons resonated with Radjev, who had a keen interest in conspiracy theories, ISD said.

Imran was banned from entering Singapore in 2007 due to his radical preaching on the imminent coming of the End of Times, the rise of the Black Flag Army and a call for violent action for all Muslims.

The Black Flag Army is prophesised to be a Muslim army carrying black flags led by Mahdi, the saviour of Muslims, which will emerge from Khorasan, a historical region covering parts of modern-day Afghanistan and north-east Iran, to engage in a final battle with non-believers during the End of Times.

Terror groups, including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis), have appropriated the imagery of the black flags to garner support for their struggle for power.

In response to queries from TODAY, ISD said that this was the first detention linked to the prophesised Black Flag Army.

Radjev was first investigated by ISD in 2013 for posting extremist content on social media and was warned to steer clear of radical activities.

Arrangements were made for him to undergo religious counselling.

However, he was not receptive to these efforts and continued to read and take in online radical content including Imran’s teachings, ISD said.

Radjev became deeply radicalised by the online teachings of Imran and other foreign radical preachers such as Anwar Al-Awlaki and Musa Cerantonio, becoming convinced that it was his religious obligation to partake in armed violence with the Black Flag Army to kill the “enemies” of Islam, ISD added.

“He believed that dying as a martyr on the battlefield alongside the Black Flag Army would earn him rewards in the afterlife.” 

Radjev made preparations to undertake armed violence, believing at different points in time that Isis, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban were possible manifestations of the Black Flag Army.

He abandoned a plan to travel to Syria and join Isis in 2014 after watching a video by Imran, who disputed that Isis was the Black Flag Army, but continued to make preparations for armed violence.

At the time of his arrest, he believed that the Taliban might represent the BFA.

There are no signs that Radjev had any specific attack plans against Singapore.

However, he admitted that he was willing to conduct an attack in Singapore or against Singapore’s interests while overseas if instructed to do so by either Imran or the Black Flag Army, ISD said.

TWO SINGAPOREANS RELEASED

Separately, two self-radicalised Singaporeans were released from detention under the ISA in January and February.

“They had shown good progress in their rehabilitation and were assessed to no longer pose a security threat requiring preventive detention,” ISD said.

Hazim Syahmi Mahfoot, 31, was released on a suspension direction in January 2022.

Hazim had been detained under the ISA in January 2019 as an associate of Singaporean Mohamed Kazali Salleh and was influenced by the latter’s radical outlook to the extent that he believed he should undertake armed violence against the perceived enemies of his religion.

A suspension direction is a ministerial direction to suspend the operation of an existing order of detention. The Minister for Home Affairs may revoke the suspension direction and the person will be re-detained, if he does not comply with any of the conditions stipulated in the direction.

The conditions in the suspension direction are generally similar to the conditions in a restriction order: The person cannot travel out of Singapore, or change addresses or jobs, without approval. They cannot access the internet or social media, issue public statements, address public meetings or print, distribute or contribute to any publication without approval.

Ruqayyah Ramli, 35, was released on a suspension direction in February 2022.

She had been detained under the ISA in April 2021 after being radicalised by her husband, Malaysian Mohd Firdaus Kamal Intdzam, and had supported his intention to travel to Syria to fight for Isis.

She was initially issued with a restriction order in August 2020, but was later detained in April 2021 after an escalation in her radical behaviour.

 

Related topics

Internal Security Act ISD radicalisation Taliban

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