Singaporean man, 36, found guilty of financing terrorism

Wan Ting Koh
Imran Kassim, 36, admitted providing funds to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group. PHOTO: Facebook

SINGAPORE — In an unprecedented trial, a 36-year-old Singaporean man accused of providing funds to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was found guilty of financing terrorism on Tuesday (14 January).

Appearing in court a day after his trial, Imran Kassim declined to say anything in mitigation, only adding, “I think I’ve said everything that I had to say yesterday.”

Imran was charged in April last year with one count of providing $450 through the Western Union Global Network to an individual known as Mohamad Alsaied Alhmidan in Turkey, for the publication of ISIS propaganda on 31 October 2014.

In delivering his verdict, District Judge Seah Chi-Ling noted that Imran had admitted to sending the monies to support ISIS media work in his statement. He had stated that he believed his funds would benefit the extremist group by spreading support and garnering awareness for it.

Imran had also said so in court numerous times, added the judge, with the receipt from Western Union provided as unchallenged evidence.

While Imran had stated in his defence that he did not recognise Singapore law and only recognised Islamic Syariah law, the argument had no basis in laws here, said the judge.

The judge also rejected Imran’s argument that the portrayal of ISIS in the media had been grossly exaggerated and that the opponents of ISIS have themselves committed atrocities.

Even if proven that opponents to ISIS have committed atrocities, and they have not, said the judge, this does not comprise an appropriate defence in law, said the judge, adding that the prosecution has proven its case against the accused.

During his half-day trial yesterday, Imran had admitted to the transfer numerous times, saying, “The only thing I can say I did do was I did the transfer and did it to benefit the Islamic State.”

However, the former managing director of firm Novo Logistics claimed he could not plead guilty as he did not recognise Singapore law. He did not give his defence when called to do so, only adding in closing submissions that he contributed to ISIS propaganda to highlight the “atrocities committed by the Western coalition against Muslims in (ISIS)” and claiming that the mainstream media had grossly exaggerated portrayals of ISIS.

Sentencing for Imran has been adjourned to Tuesday afternoon.

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