Singapore cracks down on Jihadists, detains 3

Mustafa Shafawi, CNA

SINGAPORE : A 20-year-old Singaporean Muhammad Fadil Abdul Hamid has been detained for two years under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said he is a full-time national serviceman in the SAF.

He had begun avidly surfing the Internet in search of jihadist propaganda and videos when he was studying in a local polytechnic. He eventually did not complete his studies.

Over time, he became deeply radicalised by the lectures of radical ideologues such as Anwar al-Awlaki and Sheikh Feiz Muhammad.

He became convinced that it was his religious duty to undertake armed jihad alongside fellow militants and strive for martyrdom.

Muhammad Fadil subsequently initiated online communication with Anwar al- Awlaki. He expressed his desire to fight alongside Anwar al-Awlaki.

Muhammad Fadil also expressed his interest in travelling to places like Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan to undertake militant jihad.

He also made online contact with a suspected Al-Qaeda recruiter who encouraged him to fight in Afghanistan.

To undertake militant jihad overseas, he went online in search of information on bomb-making, and produced and posted a video glorifying martyrdom and justifying suicide bombing.

Muhammad Fadil was detained under the ISA on April 4.

In response to media queries, MHA said Muhammad Fadil did not undertake nor did he have any plans to undertake jihad-related activities in Singapore.

His intentions were to pursue such activities overseas in places like Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq.

MHA said two other Singaporeans were placed on Restriction Orders (RO) for two years from June 23.

One of them is 44-year-old Muhammad Anwar Jailani, an unaccredited religious teacher.

He had distributed to his students, contacts and the general public numerous copies of CDs containing audio recordings of Anwar al-Awlaki's lectures, which called on Muslims to undertake militant jihad against non-Muslims and other "enemies" of Islam.

The other is 27-year-old Muhammad Thahir Shaik Dawood.

He runs a small business and is one of Muhammad Anwar's students who became radicalised mainly through his influence.

Muhammad Thahir had travelled to Yemen to enrol in an educational institution run by an associate of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda.

He also sought out Anwar al-Awlaki and other radicals with a view to participating in armed jihad overseas if the opportunity presented itself.

While in Yemen, he began to have doubts about undertaking armed jihad, and came round to the view that there were other ways of doing jihad like pursuing knowledge and performing good deeds.

He also withdrew from the Yemeni educational institution.

He was investigated by ISD after his return from Yemen.

MHA also said that a member of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), Ibrahim Mohd Noor, was released on a Suspension Direction (SD) on June 1.

Ibrahim fled Singapore in December 2001 following the arrests of Singapore JI members in ISD's security operation.

He was a trained operative who had conducted terrorist reconnaissance against local establishments in Singapore to prepare for JI's terrorist operations.

Ibrahim was arrested and detained under the ISA in Apr 2007 following a joint operation with a regional security agency.

MHA said he had cooperated in investigations and shown significant progress in his rehabilitation.

He was assessed to no longer pose a security threat that required preventive detention.

In its response to media queries, Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said the detention of NSF Muhammad Fadil Abdul Hamid under the ISA is a case of an individual who took the wrong path.

It said Muhammad Fadil was an NSF trainee undergoing section leader training in Pasir Laba Camp at the point of his arrest.

He attended but did not complete polytechnic prior to his enlistment for NS in September 2009.

MINDEF also said there are appropriate security processes and systems at the national level to monitor and guard against potential security threats.

The SAF is part of this national system.

MINDEF said it will continue to maintain a high degree of vigilance against any potential threats that may surface. - CNA

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