A Bangladeshi man, who was plotting attacks against Hindus in his personal nation and planning to fight in Kashmir, has been arrested by Singapore’s safety businesses which investigated the suspicious actions of 37 individuals as a part of the heightened safety measures in the city-state following current terror strikes in Europe. In a press release, the Ministry of Home Affairs stated that counter-terrorism investigations into the suspicious actions of 37 individuals in Singapore have been carried out after most of them posted on social media, inciting violence or stoking group unrest in the aftermath of the fear attacks in France.
Of the 37 individuals, 14 are Singaporeans and 23 foreigners, largely Bangladeshis, it stated.
“The 14 Singaporeans comprise 10 males and four females, and are aged between 19 and 62 years old. Most of them had, in response to the recent terror attacks in France, made social media postings which incited violence or stoked communal unrest,” the ministry stated.
As for the 23 foreigners, 16 of them, together with 15 Bangladeshis and one Malaysian have been repatriated, it stated. Seven foreigners are nonetheless below investigation, it added.
One Bangladeshi man below investigation – recognized as 26-year-old Ahmed Faysal – has been arrested below the Internal Security Act (ISA) following investigations into “terrorism-related activities”, the ministry stated.
He even purchased foldable knives, which he claimed he would use for attacks against Hindus in Bangladesh, it stated, including that he was additionally keen to journey to Kashmir to fight against “perceived enemies of Islam”.
Preliminary investigations by the Internal Security Department (ISD) confirmed that Faysal was radicalised and harboured the intention to “undertake armed violence in support of his religion”, the Channel News Asia reported, citing the assertion issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Faysal had been working as a development employee in Singapore since early 2017, and have become radicalised in 2018 after “imbibing online propaganda on ISIS”, the assertion stated. He was arrested on November 2.
“He was attracted to ISIS’ goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate in Syria and wanted to travel there to fight alongside ISIS against the Syrian government. He believed that he would be a martyr if he died while doing so,” it stated.
In mid-2019, Faysal shifted his allegiance to Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), one other militant group combating to set up an Islamic caliphate in Syria.
“He donated funds to a Syria-based organisation on the understanding that his donations would benefit the HTS’ cause in Syria,” the ministry stated.
“Faysal also actively shared propaganda promoting armed violence on social media accounts created under fictitious names.” Apart from ISIS and the HTS, Faysal additionally expressed assist for different terrorist teams together with Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab, the assertion stated.
To put together himself for an armed assault, Faysal watched firearms-related movies on-line. While Faysal is a part of the 37, the ministry stated he’s not linked to the incidents in France.
“While a handful of these individuals had commented on the same discussion threads on social media, the majority of the cases are not connected to each other,” stated the ministry.
There isn’t any indication that any of them had been planning attacks or protests in Singapore, it added.
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) have additionally enhanced their safety measures and patrols.
Attacks comparable to these in Saudi Arabia and Austria additionally sign a menace against French or Western pursuits, the ministry stated. A “palpable anti-France climate” has developed in a number of international locations, with massive protests, calls for boycotts and a rise in terrorist rhetoric on-line.
“In view of the deteriorating security situation, the Singapore Home Team has been on heightened security alert since early September and had also stepped up its security measures to pre-empt copycat attacks in Singapore,” the ministry stated.
Speaking on the 16th Religious Rehabilitation Group Seminar held at Khadijah Mosque on Tuesday, Law and Home Affairs Minister Ok Shanmugam stated the “shape and nature” of the terrorism menace has modified since final 12 months.
While the Islamic State has misplaced a lot of its bodily territory in a number of international locations and had key leaders killed, they’re now a covert community, he famous.
“Its propaganda on social media continues to radicalise and inspire attacks around the world, including here in Southeast Asia,” the minister was quoted as saying by the channel.
Counter-terrorism efforts in the area have decreased the variety of attacks, however the terrorists are adapting, he stated. Attacks in France and Austria additionally spotlight that the specter of terrorism stays, he added.
The ISD has “ramped up” counter-terrorism investigations into suspicious exercise, people who’re suspected of being radicalised in addition to people whose conduct might “threaten Singapore’s communal harmony”, stated the ministry.
The Singaporeans and foreigners who’ve been investigated had “attracted safety consideration for suspected radical inclinations, or for making feedback which incite violence, or stoked communal unrest”, it added.