Published: 09 December 2020
Detention of Singaporean for Involvement in Yemen Civil War
1. Sheik Heikel bin Khalid Bafana (Heikel; aged 48), was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in March 2019. He had been actively involved in the civil war in Yemen. While in Yemen, he had also worked for a foreign power as a paid agent.
2. Heikel migrated to Yemen with his family around 2008. There he ran a consultancy which advised foreign companies on security risks and business opportunities. While there, he assisted one of the factions in the civil war, and volunteered to take up arms and fight alongside this faction. He also acted as a broker between this faction and the foreign power, in an effort to secure military equipment, supplies and funds to conduct military training.
3. Separately, from around 2012 to 2018, Heikel collected intelligence on Yemen for the foreign power, for which he was paid substantial amounts. His dealings with the foreign power were clandestine in nature.
4. After 2011, as the security situation deteriorated, Heikel stayed on in Yemen even when other Singaporeans were evacuated. Heikel and his family eventually returned to Singapore on 5 February 2019, where he was arrested under the ISA. His family members have not been implicated in his activities in Yemen.
5. Heikel’s case was not disclosed earlier because investigations into his activities in Yemen were complex, and earlier disclosure would have jeopardised ongoing investigations. ISD is publicising his case now to underline Singapore’s stern stand against 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, such a person has demonstrated a dangerous tendency to support the use of violence. Heikel compounded this by serving the interests of a foreign power for financial gain.
6. By involving himself in a foreign armed conflict and working as a paid agent of a foreign power, Heikel has acted in a manner prejudicial to Singapore’s security and interests.
Detention of Radicalised Bangladeshi
7. Ahmed Faysal, the 26-year-old Bangladeshi arrested under the ISA in November 2020, has been issued with an Order of Detention under the ISA on 30 November 2020 to facilitate ongoing investigations into his terrorism-related activities.
Release from Detention
8. Three Singaporeans who were detained under the ISA for involvement in terrorism-related activities have been released and placed on a Restriction Order (RO). They have shown good progress in their rehabilitation and were assessed to no longer pose a security threat requiring preventive detention. They are:
9. Muhammad Fadil bin Abdul Hamid (Fadil; aged 31), a self-radicalised individual who was previously detained under the ISA from 2010 to 2012 as he had the intention to engage in armed violence in Afghanistan. He was released from detention in 2012 and placed on a RO. In April 2016, he was re-detained as investigations showed that he had reverted to the belief that militant jihad was the easiest way to achieve martyrdom and harboured the intention to fight alongside ISIS or other militant groups in Syria. He was released on a RO in April 2020.
10. Husaini bin Ismail (Husaini; aged 61), a former Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) member who was detained under the ISA in June 2012 following his deportation to Singapore from Indonesia in May 2012. Husaini had fled Singapore in the wake of the security operations against the JI network in December 2001.While on the run, he was involved in the plot to hijack an airplane and crash it into Changi Airport in January 2002. Husaini was released on a RO in June 2020.
11. Rosli bin Hamzah (Rosli; aged 54), a self-radicalised individual who was detained under the ISA in August 2016. Rosli harboured the intention to travel to Syria to fight alongside ISIS. Rosli was released on a RO in August 2020.
Lapse of Restriction Orders
12. The ROs issued against five Singaporeans were allowed to lapse upon their expiry as they had shown good progress in their rehabilitation. They are:
13. Mohamed Mohideen bin Mohamed Jais (aged 30), who had performed armed sentry duties in Yemen while pursuing religious studies there from 2009 to 2011. He was issued with a RO in March 2016. His RO was allowed to lapse in March 2020.
14. A self-radicalised Singaporean ISIS supporter who was 17 years old in July 2016 when he was issued with a RO. His RO was allowed to lapse in July 2020.
15. Mohamad Reiney bin Noor Mohd (aged 30), a self-radicalised individual who started supporting ISIS after coming across ISIS propaganda online. He was issued with a RO in August 2016. His RO was allowed to lapse in August 2020.
16. Asrul bin Alias (aged 37), a self-radicalised individual who actively searched for pro-ISIS materials online and shared them on Facebook and WhatsApp with the intention to spread ISIS’s ideology. He was issued with a RO in August 2016. His RO was allowed to lapse in August 2020.
17. Ishak s/o Mohamed Noohu (aged 59), a former JI member who was detained in November 2006 and released on RO in November 2012. Ishak had fled Singapore in the wake of the security operations against the JI network in December 2001. While on the run, he was involved in the plot to hijack an airplane and crash it into Changi Airport in January 2002. His RO was allowed to lapse in October 2020.
Internal Security Department
9 December 2020