Press Releases

Updates on Cases Under the Internal Security Act

Published: 10 May 2022

Detention of Self-Radicalised Singaporean

1.   Radjev Lal s/o Madan Lal (Radjev), a 29-year-old mover at a logistics company, was detained in April 2022 under the Internal Security Act (ISA).  Radjev was self-radicalised and had made preparations to travel to overseas conflict zones to undertake armed violence.

2.   Radjev started down the path of radicalisation in 2013 after he was introduced to the online sermons of foreign radical preacher Imran Hosein (Imran).[1]   Imran’s preaching on Islamic eschatological prophecies such as the imminent End of Times and the rise of the Black Flag Army (BFA)[2]  resonated with Radjev, who had a keen interest in conspiracy theories.  Over time, Radjev became deeply radicalised by the online teachings of Imran and other foreign radical preachers such as Anwar Al-Awlaki[3]  and Musa Cerantonio.[4]   He became convinced that it was his religious obligation to partake in armed violence with the BFA to kill the “enemies” of Islam.  In his view, these “enemies” included non-Muslims who meddled in Islamic affairs, as well as Western countries like the US and Israel.  He believed that dying as a martyr on the battlefield alongside the BFA would earn him rewards in the afterlife.  

3.   Radjev tried to influence his family and friends with his radical views and attempted to recruit them to join him in his plans to undertake armed violence.  He also created a social media group to propagate his radical ideology to his online contacts.  None of his family members or friends in Singapore responded positively to his overtures.

4.   Radjev also made preparations to undertake armed violence, believing at different points in time that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, were possible manifestations of the BFA.  In 2014, he conducted research and planned his travel route to Syria, with the intention of joining ISIS.  However, he abandoned this plan after watching a video by Imran, who disputed that ISIS was the BFA.  Nonetheless, Radjev continued to make preparations for armed violence, including practising knifing techniques.  At the time of his arrest, Radjev believed that the Taliban might represent the BFA and was considering travelling to Afghanistan to join the Taliban. 

5.   Radjev did not have any specific attack plans against Singapore, but he admitted that he was willing to conduct an attack in Singapore or against Singapore’s interests overseas if instructed to do so by either Imran or the BFA.

6.   ISD will take firm action against any individual in Singapore who supports, promotes, undertakes or makes preparations to undertake armed violence, regardless of how they rationalise such violence, or where the violence takes place.  Radjev’s case underscores that Singaporeans are not immune to extremist rhetoric propagated by religious preachers or ideologues, including on online platforms.  It is therefore critical to seek advice and guidance from credible local religious authorities and sources.

Release from Detention

7.   Two self-radicalised Singaporeans were released from detention under the ISA in January and February 2022.  They had shown good progress in their rehabilitation and were assessed to no longer pose a security threat requiring preventive detention.  They are:

a)   Hazim Syahmi bin Mahfoot (aged 31), who was detained under the ISA in January 2019.  He was an associate of Singaporean Mohamed Kazali bin Salleh (Kazali),[5]  and was influenced by the latter’s radical outlook to the extent that he believed he should undertake armed violence against the perceived enemies of his religion.  He was released on a Suspension Direction (SD)[6]  in January 2022; and

b)   Ruqayyah binti Ramli (aged 35), who was detained under the ISA in April 2021.  She was radicalised by her husband, Malaysian Mohd Firdaus bin Kamal Intdzam (Firdaus),[7] and supported his intention to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS.  She was initially issued with a Restriction Order (RO) in August 2020, but was subsequently detained in April 2021 after an escalation in her radical behaviour.  She was released on a SD in February 2022. 

Staying Vigilant to Signs of Radicalisation

8.   We advise the public to remain vigilant to signs that someone around us may have become radicalised, so that we can intervene early to avert a tragedy.  Possible signs of radicalisation include, but are not limited to, the following:

a)   frequently surfing radical websites;
b)   posting/sharing extremist views on social media platforms, such as expressing support/admiration for terrorists/terrorist groups as well as the use of violence;
c)   sharing their extremist views with friends and relatives;
d)   making remarks that promote ill-will or hatred towards people of other races or religions;
e)   expressing intent to participate in acts of violence overseas or in Singapore; and/or
f)   inciting others to participate in acts of violence.

9.   Early reporting can enable the individual who is at risk of becoming radicalised to be given proper guidance and counselling. They can be steered away from the path of radicalisation and may not need to be severely dealt with under the law.  Anyone who knows or suspects that a person has been radicalised should promptly contact the ISD Counter-Terrorism Centre hotline 1800-2626-473 (1800-2626-ISD). 

Internal Security Department
10 May 2022

[1] Imran originated from Trinidad and Tobago.  He has tied his teachings on the imminent coming of the End of Times to a call for violent action for all Muslims.  In 2007, he was banned from entering Singapore due to his radical preachings. 

[2] The BFA is prophesised to be a Muslim army carrying black flags led by Mahdi, the saviour of Muslims, which will emerge from Khorasan (historical region covering parts of modern day Afghanistan and north-east Iran) to engage in a final battle with the non-believers during the End of Times.  Terror groups, including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, have appropriated the imagery of the black flags to garner support for their struggle for power. 

[3] Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American of Yemeni descent, was a leader and ideologue of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  He was killed in a US drone strike in September 2011.  Despite his death, his lectures continue to be accessible online and have radicalised individuals around the world. 

[4] Musa Cerantonio, an Australian, has incited and recruited Muslims to travel to Syria to undertake armed violence.  In May 2019, he was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment in Australia for terrorism-related offences.

[5] Kazali, a close associate of Syria-based ISIS militant Malaysian Wan Mohd Aquil bin Wan Zainal Abidin @ Akel Zainal (Akel), was detained under the ISA in January 2019.  In September 2021, Kazali was sentenced to three years and 10 months’ imprisonment under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act for providing money to Akel for the purpose of facilitating terrorist acts.  He is currently undergoing rehabilitation while serving his prison sentence. 

[6] A Suspension Direction (SD) is a Ministerial direction to suspend the operation of an existing Order of Detention. The Minister for Home Affairs may revoke the SD and the individual will be re-detained, if he does not comply with any of the conditions stipulated in the SD.  The conditions in the SD are generally similar to the conditions in a Restriction Order.  For example, the individual is not permitted to change his or her residence or employment, or travel out of Singapore, without the approval of Director, ISD.  The individual also cannot access the Internet or social media, issue public statements, address public meetings or print, distribute, contribute to any publication, hold office in, or be a member of any organisation, association or group, without the approval of Director, ISD. 

[7] Firdaus was repatriated to Malaysia in August 2020 following the completion of ISD’s investigations.  On 15 April 2021, the Malaysian High Court sentenced him to three years’ imprisonment for possession of terrorism-related propaganda materials.