According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)'s press release issued on Monday (12 June), it has detained the first female Singaporean for radicalism under the Internal Security Act (ISA) which allows the state to detain an individual without trial and without a time limit.
It is said that Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari, a 22-year-old contract infantcare assistant with the PCF (PAP Community Foundation) Sparkletots preschool programme, was detained in this year's June.
According to MHA, Izzah's radicalisation started in 2013 through online propaganda related to the Islamic State terrorist group.
“She began to believe that ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) represented the true spirit of Islam. Her radicalisation deepened over time,” a press release read. “This was exacerbated by a wide network of foreign online contacts which she developed. They included ISIS militants and supporters, some of whom have either been killed in Syria or arrested for terrorism-related activities.” wrote MHA in its press release.
It is said that Izzah actively posted and shared pro-ISIS material online since 2013. MHA further claims that several of her social media platforms were removed by administrators because of such content, but she created new ones.
MHA also said Izzah was also intent on joining ISIS and was actively planning to make her way to Syria, with her young child, to do so. “She supported ISIS’s use of violence to establish and defend its self-declared ‘caliphate’, and aspired to live in it,” said the ministry. “To this end, she said that since 2015, she was looking for ‘a Salafi or an ISIS supporter’ to marry and settle down with him and her child in Syria.”
“She said she would support her husband if he fought for ISIS in Syria as she believed she would reap ‘heavenly rewards’ if he died in battle. With her ‘elevated status’ as a ‘martyr’s widow’, she felt she could (then) easily marry another ISIS fighter in Syria.”
Izzah allegedly said that she was prepared to undergo military training and engage in armed combat to defend ISIS if called upon by the terrorist group to do so.
MHA claims that Izzah's parents (both freelance Quranic teachers) and sister came to know of her radical postings in 2015 and her intention to join ISIS in Syria. and tried on their own to dissuade her, but were unsuccessful.
The Ministry adds that Izzah continued down the path of radicalism and “boasted” to a contact in April this year that the Singapore authorities had not detected her.
MHA states that it is imperative for family members and Friends to report suspected radicalised Individuals to authorities.
"In Izzah's case, her family members did not bring her to the attention of the authorities when she was younger and could have potentially been turned back from the path of radicalisation. Furthermore, after Izzah was placed under investigation, important evidence was destroyed by a family member relating to her plans to join ISIS, in order to try to minimise her acts." said MHA.
While this is the first female Singaporean arrested for radicalism under ISA, but there have been an increasing number of individuals whom MHA have alleged to be radicalised Muslims and arrested without trial. While some have been released under probation, many still remain detained.
SINGAPORE - Two Singaporean auxiliary police officers have been arrested for terrorism-related offences under the Internal Security Act (ISA).
The duo were fellow AETOS officers at Woodlands Checkpoint when they were nabbed last month, said the Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday (June 20).
Muhammad Khairul Mohamed, 24, has since been detained for planning to travel to Syria to fight against the Syrian government, while Mohamad Rizal Wahid, 36, is placed on a Restriction Order for supporting his plan, the ministry added in its statement.
News of their arrests come one week after the ministry said last Monday that a 22-year-old has become the first Singaporean woman to be detained for radicalism under the ISA.
Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari, an infant care assistant, was planning to travel to Syria with her child to become a "martyr's widow", fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Auxiliary police officers are private contractors hired to do police duties such as carrying out security checks at buildings and crowd control.
The uniformed officers have powers similar to that of police officers while on duty. These include carrying out a search and making an arrest.
Some are armed with revolvers.
The ministry, however, said Khairul's duties did not require him to be armed.
He was working as an outrider at the checkpoint, performing traffic enforcement duties when he was arrested.
The ministry said he became radicalised in 2012 after he went online to gather information about the conflict in Syria.
"He developed the view that the conflict in Syria was a sectarian struggle between Sunni Islam and Shia Islam, and being a Sunni Muslim, he wanted to fight against the Shi'ites in Syria by joining the Free Syrian Army (FSA)," the ministry said.
It noted that the FSA is formed by Syrian Armed Forces defectors who are fighting the Syrian government.
"Khairul perceived the Syrian conflict to be a "holy war" in which he was prepared to die in battle as a "martyr" and receive divine rewards," the MHA added.
In 2014, he tried to contact a foreign militant and FSA supporters on Facebook.
"At the point of his arrest, Khairul was still interested to join FSA or any other militant groups operating in Syria and engage in armed violence there," the ministry said. "His readiness and proclivity to resort to violence in pursuit of a religious cause makes him a security threat to Singapore."
His colleague Rizal was working as an armed officer conducting general security duties at the checkpoint when he was arrested.
He knew about his colleague's plan to travel to Syria to fight, the ministry said, but he "not only failed to bring the matter to the attention of the authorities or the AETOS management, he even suggested to Khairul various ways to get to Syria and die there as a 'martyr'".
While he did not share the same desire to take part in armed violence, "as an auxiliary police officer, he should have been aware of the prevailing terrorism threat and his failure to dissuade Khairul and report him to his superior officer was a serious lapse of judgement", the ministry said.
He was placed on a restriction order that curtails his movements and activities.
Their arrests reflect Singapore's strict position on radicalism.
"The Government takes a serious view of anyone who supports, promotes, undertakes or makes preparations to undertake armed violence, regardless of how they rationalise such violence ideologically, or where the violence takes place.
"This is particularly so if the person involved is a public servant, and especially if he or she is a uniformed officer," the ministry said.
It also stressed again the need for families and friends to report those whom they suspect to have been radicalised. "In the case of Khairul, several relatives and friends knew of his intention to fight in Syria, but none of them came forward," the ministry said.
Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam told reporters after a closed-door media briefing on Tuesday that Khairul was vetted by the authorities when he joined AETOS in 2015.
But the vetting process would not have picked up the intentions, said Mr Shanmugam.
"There were no obvious signs and it would have been difficult to have picked it up," he added.
Mr Shanmugam urged employers not to single out Malay employees for closer scrutiny.
"It would be very wrong to suggest that employers start vetting Muslim candidates in a different way. That will have the very opposite effect of what (they) want."
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terrorist arrested in singapore