Singapore detains secondary school student under ISA for supporting ISIS

·Editorial Team
·2-min read
Photo from Getty Images
Photo from Getty Images

SINGAPORE — A 17-year-old secondary school student was detained in January under the Internal Security Act due to his pro-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) thinking.

The male teenager was first investigated when he was 15, when he posted defaced images of President Halimah Yacob on social media. He had then called on ISIS to behead her for supporting Singapore, which he viewed as an “infidel” state, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a press release on Monday (10 February).

The ministry stated that the teen, whose name was not revealed, had been radicalised by a foreign online contact who introduced him to pro-ISIS social media groups in 2017. His support for the terrorist group drew the attention of Singapore authorities, which first investigated him in September that year.

“In his eyes, ISIS was a powerful group that was fighting for Islam and its use of violence against its opponents was therefore justified,” said the MHA.

The ministry said that despite the efforts to steer the teen away from the radical path since 2017, he remained a “staunch supporter of ISIS”.

The teen was willing to aid ISIS in its online propaganda efforts, and undertake other activities if called upon by ISIS.

“Even with the demise of ISIS’s so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq, he still believed in the terrorist group and its violent cause,” stated the MHA.

There were no signs that he has spread his pro-ISIS views to others around him, it added.

Former JI member released on Restriction Order

Separately, the ministry also announced that a former member of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), has been released on a Restriction Order after his Order of Detention expired in September last year.

Abu Thalha Samad had shown good progress in his rehabilitation and was assessed to no longer pose a security threat requiring preventive detention, said the ministry.

According to previous press releases, Abu Thalha had been educated in JI-linked schools in the region and received the terrorist group’s radical teachings. He took the pledge of allegiance to the group in 2014 and became a JI member. Two years later, he began teaching in a JI-linked school and also served on a JI committee which talent-spotted students for membership in the JI.

He was deported to Singapore in August 2017, when he was 25, and later issued an Order of Detention for two years in September 2017.

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