07 Sep 2017

Update on Terrorism-Related Arrests Under The Internal Security Act (ISA)

​Two Singaporeans were arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in Jul 2017.  Imran Kassim (Imran), aged 34, was issued with an Order of Detention (OD) for intending to undertake armed violence overseas.  Shakirah Begam binte Abdul Wahab (Shakirah), aged 23, was issued with a Restriction Order (RO)[1] for initiating and maintaining contact with foreign terrorist fighters.

 

Imran Kassim

 

2             Imran was radicalised by the violent propaganda of the terrorist group called the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).  His radical and pro-militant views attracted the attention of people close to him, who then reported him to the authorities. 

 

3             ISD's investigation showed that Imran had tried to make his way to Syria to join ISIS on at least two occasions.  In Feb 2014, he travelled to Syria to oversee the delivery of humanitarian aid to a refugee camp that was arranged by the logistics company where he was a managing director.  At the refugee camp, he had intended to slip away from his hosts and make his way to join ISIS, but was unsuccessful.  In Mar 2015, Imran contacted a pro-ISIS foreign contact to facilitate his entry into Syria to join ISIS, but did not receive any reply.

 

4             In Jul 2014, Imran took the bai'ah (pledge of allegiance) to ISIS's self-declared Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.  He has admitted that he was prepared to attack Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) personnel deployed in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, or hold them as hostages to demand ransom from the Singapore Government which he intended to channel to ISIS to boost the terrorist group's finances. 

 

5             Imran had also been active online galvanising support for ISIS.  He maintained several social media accounts using different personas, and used them to post pro-ISIS materials.  He also tried, unsuccessfully, to influence some of his friends with his pro-ISIS views.  

 

6             Imran's intention to participate in armed violence in overseas conflict zones was not confined to Syria.  He previously wanted to join the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), which is engaged in an armed struggle to establish an Islamic state in southern Philippines.  Since May 2017, he has harboured the intention to join the pro-ISIS militant groups that had invaded Marawi City in southern Philippines.  

 

Shakirah Begam binte Abdul Wahab

 

7             Shakirah, who works as an administrative assistant, had actively initiated online contact with ISIS foreign terrorist fighters operating in the conflict zone.  She began her activities in 2013 when she learnt of the Syrian conflict through mainstream media reports and online sources.  She came across social media details of a foreign terrorist fighter and decided to initiate contact with him.  Over-time, she expanded her online contacts to several other foreign fighters. 

 

8             The investigation showed that Shakirah maintained contact with the foreign fighters mainly because she enjoyed their attention, and not because she had been deeply radicalised by the violent propaganda of ISIS.  She ceased her contacts with the ISIS foreign fighters in early 2016, but has nonetheless continued to keep herself apprised of developments in Syria.  

 

9             Shakirah has demonstrated a propensity to engage in risky behaviour which renders her vulnerable to adverse influence and recruitment by terrorists who belong to a group that poses a security threat to Singapore.  As such, she was placed on a RO to prevent her from resuming her contacts with ISIS terrorists and to allow her to undergo counselling/rehabilitation.     

 

Release of ISA Detainees

 

10            Singaporeans Amiruddin bin Sawir (Amiruddin; aged 54) and Muhammad Harith Jailani (Harith; aged 20) were released from detention and issued with ROs in Aug 2017 when their ODs expired. 

 

11            Amiruddin was detained under the ISA in Aug 2015 for voluntarily taking up arms and participating in the armed sectarian conflict in Yemen.  He was prepared to kill and be killed as a 'martyr' in the conflict.  As for Harith, he was detained under the ISA in Aug 2015 as he had been radicalised by the online radical propaganda put up by ISIS to the extent that he planned to carry out armed jihad for ISIS in Syria. 

 

12            While in detention, Amiruddin and Harith have been cooperative and shown good progress in their rehabilitation.  As such, they were assessed to no longer pose a security threat that required preventive detention.

 

Lapse of Restriction Order

 

13            The RO issued against Singapore Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) member Samad bin Subari (Samad; aged 60) was allowed to lapse in Jul 2017.  He was detained under the ISA in Jul 2011 for his involvement in the JI terrorist group, and was released from detention and issued with a RO in Jul 2013.  He has been cooperative and responsive to rehabilitation efforts, and no longer requires further supervision under the RO regime.

 



 

[1]           A person issued with a Restriction Order (RO) must abide by several conditions and restrictions.  For example, he is not permitted to change his residence or employment, or travel out of Singapore, without the prior approval of the Director ISD.  The individual issued with RO also cannot 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 prior approval of Director ISD.  

Last Updated on 07 Sep 2017
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