Terrorism may see resurgence as global travel resumes, says Ng Eng Hen: report

Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen speaking in Parliament on 2 March 2022. (SCREENSHOT: Ministry of Information and Communications/YouTube)
Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen speaking in Parliament on 2 March 2022. (SCREENSHOT: Ministry of Information and Communications/YouTube)

SINGAPORE — Terrorist activities may experience a spike amid a recovery in travel around the world in line with easing of COVID-19 restrictions, said Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, according to a report by South China Morning Post.

Despite COVID restrictions, terrorist groups have been active in "instigating and conducting attacks, including in our region", Dr Ng said at the Putrajaya Forum in Kuala Lumpur.

"With the removal of COVID restrictions to travel, we can expect an increase in terrorist activity," Dr Ng added at the forum on Tuesday (29 March).

His comments come as governments in Singapore and elsewhere have progressively eased travel restrictions amid signs of the pandemic waning.

Singapore will further reopen its borders to all fully-vaccinated travellers from the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) general travel category countries/regions from Friday.

Under a new framework, all fully-vaccinated travellers from any country or region will be allowed to enter Singapore quarantine-free, as long as they have not visited any countries or regions on the MOH’s Restricted Category in the past seven days. There are currently no countries or regions on the Restricted Category.

Similarly, land travel between Singapore and Malaysia will be quarantine- and testing-free for fully-vaccinated travellers from Friday.

Dr Ng said that terrorist groups such as Isis and al-Qaeda have been “resilient and adaptable”. “They have kept their recruitment and radicalisation strategies current, and are exploiting cyberspace to great effect."

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