1. Singaporean Mohamed Faishal bin Mohd Razali (Faishal), a 27-year-old parking warden, was detained in April 2018 under the Internal Security Act (ISA) after investigations showed that he was radicalised, and wanted to undertake armed violence overseas in various conflict zones, including Syria.
2. Sometime in mid-2016, Faishal, who was not known to be a religious person, turned to the Internet to try to improve his religious knowledge. He began to imbibe the religious teachings of foreign preachers, including Ismail Menk and Yusuf Estes, who are known to preach segregationist and divisive teachings. He was also exposed to the online radical teachings of Al-Qaeda ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki (deceased). Over time, coupled with his weak religious foundation, he became convinced that waging armed violence was legitimate and saw that as a means of redeeming his sins.
3. From early 2017 onwards, Faishal started making preparations to undertake armed violence overseas. Amongst other things, he searched online for a “religious authority” who would support his decision to engage in armed violence, and sounded out two of his friends on his plan to participate in armed violence overseas. They disagreed with him and tried to dissuade him from his radical path. His family members who came to know of his intentions also tried to dissuade him. Despite these efforts, he continued to believe that he was duty-bound to engage in armed violence in an overseas conflict. Someone who knew of his plans alerted the authorities, so that he could be prevented from continuing down this radical path.
Lapse of Restriction Orders
4. The Restriction Orders (ROs) issued against three Singaporeans under the ISA were allowed to lapse upon expiry between February 2018 and March 2018. The three Singaporeans were:
• Sahrudin bin Mohd Sapian (Sahrudin; aged 62), a Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) member;
• Mohamed Rafee bin Abdul Rahman (Rafee; aged 54), a JI member; and
• Wang Yuandongyi (Wang; aged 25), who had attempted to join a foreign militia group.
5. Sahrudin and Rafee fled Singapore in December 2001 in the wake of security operations against the JI. They were later arrested overseas with the co-operation of regional authorities, and detained under the ISA following their deportation to Singapore in January 2012. They were released and placed on RO in February 2014. The ROs issued against them were allowed to lapse in February 2018.
6. Wang was placed on RO in March 2016. He had attempted to join a Kurdish militia group, People’s Protection Units, in Syria to fight against the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The RO issued against him was allowed to lapse in March 2018.