Comments by Mr Wong Kan Seng, Minister for Home Affairs on the Extension of 17 Orders of Detention (ODs) and One Restriction Order (RO), and Release of 2 OD and 2 RO cases
Minister Wong Kan Seng said that "while the regional security agencies have done much to disrupt the JI terrorist network, we are still far from having won the battle. The bomb blast outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta shows that the JI retains the operational capability to strike. And dangerous leaders like Azahari Husin and Noor Din Mohd Top remain at large, and continue to recruit new blood into their ranks."
"The terrorist and security threat posed by JI and MILF elements remain real and significant. We are extending the ODs of 17 detainees as there is a risk that they could re-involve themselves in terrorism-related activities. They were deeply exposed to militant ideology. Several of them were directly involved in terrorism-related activities."
Mr Wong reiterated that "the Government's position has always been that we will not impose preventive detention for longer than is necessary to ensure Singapore's security. In this regard, 2 detainees have been released. ISD has assessed that they no longer constitute a threat that requires preventive detention. They have co-operated in ISD's investigations. They have also responded positively to counselling, including religious counselling."
"Their release represents one of many steps forward in the long-term resolution of the JI episode. Our approach in dealing with the JI and MILF threat goes beyond preventive detention. It also involves the counselling of the detainees so that they understand where they have erred, and their eventual release and re-integration back into society."
15 September 2004