Two Singaporeans arrested under ISA for terror-related activities: MHA

Islamic State fighters in Syria. One of the two arrested Singaporeans tried to participate in armed violence overseas, while the other made contact with foreign terrorists. (Photo: AFP)

Two Singaporeans were arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in July, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday (7 September).

Imran Kassim, 34, was issued with an Order of Detention (OD) for his intention to participate in armed violence overseas, while Shakirah Begam Abdul Wahab, 23, was issued a Restriction Order (RO) for making contact and corresponding with foreign terrorist fighters, MHA said in a statement.

After being radicalised by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) propaganda, Imran tried to go to Syria to join the group at least twice. He also pledged allegiance to ISIS’s caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Imran travelled to Syria in February 2014 to oversee the delivery of humanitarian aid to a refugee camp. He was a managing director of a logistics company which arranged for the aid delivery. He intended to slip away from the refugee camp and find a way to join ISIS but did not succeed.

In March 2015, he made contact with a pro-ISIS foreign contact in an attempt to facilitate entry into Syria, but did not receive a response.

“He has admitted that he was prepared to attack Singapore Armed Forces 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,” said the MHA statement.

Imran had a number of social media accounts which he used to post pro-ISIS content. He attempted to sway some of his friends with his pro-ISIS views, but was unsuccessful. He also had intentions to join pro-ISIS militant groups battling in Marawi City in the Philippines.

Separately, Shakirah, an administrative assistant, had been actively contacting ISIS foreign fighters online through social media.

According to MHA investigations, Shakirah kept in contact with these foreign fighters because she liked their attention, rather than because she had been radicalised by ISIS propaganda. Although she stopped contact with them in early 2016, she kept herself updated about developments in Syria.

“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,” said MHA.

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