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24 January 2008

Further Releases, Issuance of Restriction Orders & Detentions Under The Internal Security Act

Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) detention and Restriction Order cases

Release from detention
 
     5 JI detainees were released from detention upon the expiry of their Orders of Detention. Hosnay bin Awi (Hosnay) was released on 20 Dec 2007 while Adnan bin Musa (Adnan), Fathi Abu Bakar Bafana (Fathi), Halim bin Hussain (Halim) and Mohamad Anuar bin Margono (Anuar) were released on 5 Jan 2008. The 5 men had cooperated in investigations and responded positively to rehabilitation, including religious counselling. 
 
2    Hosnay was detained in Dec 2003. He was a long-time JI member and had undergone overseas terrorist training in 1999. Hosnay was issued with a Restriction Order (RO) under the ISA upon his release from detention. Adnan, Fathi, Halim and Anuar were detained in Jan 2002. Adnan and Fathi were members of Fiah Musa, the JI operations cell that was tasked to conduct reconnaissance of Western targets in Singapore, including the US and Israeli Embassies and the Australian and British High Commissions, under the direction of an Al-Qaeda operative. Halim was a member of Fiah Ismail, which had conducted preliminary surveillance and observation of several targets in Singapore while Anuar was a member of the JI shura (consultative council) and had tasked JI cells to carry out preparations for terrorist attacks. All 4 men were issued with ROs upon their release from detention.
 
3     In addition, a Singaporean detained for his involvement with the MILF was released on a Suspension Direction1 (SD) on 5 Jan 2008. Mohd Agus bin Ahmad Selani (Agus) was previously issued with a RO in Jan 2002 for his involvement with the MILF, and the RO was extended for 2 years in Jan 2004. However, Agus continued to associate with and provide assistance to MILF members and sympathisers. As such, Agus had to be arrested and was detained under the ISA from 6 Jan 2005. As Agus had since then been more cooperative in investigations and has also responded to rehabilitation, he was released on SD.
 
Lapse of 5 ROs
 
4     The ROs of 5 JI/MILF members expired on 9 Jan 2008 and were not renewed. The 5 men were Abu Bakar Sedek bin Hashim, Mohamed Yusuf bin Mohamad Noor, Mohammad bin Hashim, Mohd Abdul Rahman bin Baharom and Mohd Shafiee bin Osman. They were first issued with ROs on 10 Jan 2004. As the 5 had been cooperative in investigations and had responded to rehabilitation, they were assessed to no longer require supervision under an RO regime. 
 
2 new detention cases and one new RO case
 
5     Meanwhile, 2 persons were detained under the ISA and one other was issued with a RO for involvement in activities that posed a potential terrorist threat. The 3 men were Muhammad Zamri bin Abdullah (Zamri; aged 26), Maksham bin Mohd Shah (Maksham; aged 26) and Mohammad Taufik bin Andjah Asmara (Taufik; aged 26). Zamri and Maksham were issued with Orders of Detention (OD) while Taufik was issued with a RO on 5 Dec 2007.
 
6     Zamri was self-radicalised through radical propaganda in publications, videos and the internet. He became radicalised to the extent that he had gone overseas to try to join a “mujahidin network”, so that he could wage armed jihad overseas and die a martyr. Since 2003, Zamri had also spread his radical ideas to his associates. He succeeded in influencing 2 others, namely Maksham and Taufik, with his pro-armed jihad ideology.
 
7     In early 2006, Zamri falsely claimed to be the Singapore representative of a foreign radical group and made Maksham and Taufik members of the ‘group’ by way of taking the bai’ah (oath of allegiance) to him. Zamri also collected contributions from them with the intention of sending the money as donation to another foreign radical group to support its violent cause.
 
8     In mid-2006, arising from his interest in on-line jihadist propaganda, Zamri befriended a foreigner who was previously identified as a member of the JI’s Al-Ghuraba cell. In Nov 2006, Zamri, together with Maksham, travelled overseas to meet this person to procure more jihadist material. Significantly, Zamri and Maksham had another agenda on the trip, which was to take the bai’ah with leaders of radical and militant groups in that country so as to gain entry into foreign “mujahidin networks”, which Zamri believed would enable them to receive training and eventually travel overseas to wage armed jihad in places like Afghanistan, Palestine and Chechnya. One of the leaders they wanted to meet was in fact an identified leader of a terrorist group. Zamri and Maksham eventually failed to take the bai’ah, but only because they were unable to secure an appointment with the said leaders.   
 
9     Maksham imbibed the radical ideas preached by Zamri since 2003, and had also actively consumed radical propaganda in publications, videos and the internet. Maksham subsequently developed radical ideas that included constructing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for use in armed jihad. He began by experimenting with using sparklers to make bombs. He had been inspired by news footages that showed Molotov cocktails being used in attacks, and decided to experiment with making IEDs using material found in sparklers. Later, Maksham decided to travel overseas to source for materials commonly used to make IEDs (such as ball-bearings and fertilisers) so as to avoid detection in Singapore. In addition, Maksham had initiated overseas camping trips after watching videos of terrorist training. Maksham and Zamri used these trips to toughen themselves mentally and physically so that they would be prepared to undertake armed jihad. Like Zamri, Maksham was keen to wage armed jihad and to martyr himself. 
 
10    Taufik was introduced to Zamri by Maksham in 2003. He soon became influenced by Zamri’s radical teachings and by Maksham who had become radicalised. He also consumed radical propaganda which further radicalised him. Over time, Taufik similarly developed pro-armed jihad ideas and was supportive of participating in armed jihad as a mujahidin. Investigations showed that Taufik, however, had begun to gradually distance himself from Zamri and Maksham and became less involved in their activities and discussions. Taufik was issued with an RO in Dec 2007.
 

Ministry of Home Affairs
24 January 2008

1   A person released under Suspension Direction has his OD suspended, and must abide by certain conditions and restrictions after release. He may be re-detained should he fail to respect these conditions and restrictions.
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