Singapore — Imran Kassim, the Singaporean who was accused of funding terrorism received a 33-month jail sentence on Tuesday (Jan 14). He was convicted of one count of funding Islamic State (IS) propaganda.
Mr Imran, a 36-year-old former managing director of logistics firm Novo Logistics, was discovered to have sent the amount of S$450 to a man in Turkey named Mohamad Alsaied Alhmidan on October 31, 2014.
District Judge Seah Chi-Ling pronounced a guilty verdict in Mr Imran’s case based on his own admissions to officers and in court, as well as the receipt from the remittance of his donation. The judge said that Mr Imran was cognizant that his donation would be to the advantage of IS, which is a terrorist entity.
Mr Imran had said that he made the donation after he had seen a post on Facebook since he believed that the money he sent would be to the benefit of the owner of the Facebook page, who had set out to garner support for IS.
The accused told the court that he gave the money since he knew it would “help spread support for IS”, help collect more supporters for IS and raise awareness about the entity.
In response to Mr Imran’s claim that he only supported Sharia law and did not recognise Singapore courts’ jurisdiction, District Judge Seah said, “First, he claims he is not subject to Singapore law, being subject instead to Islamic Sharia law. The accused does not cite any authority in support of this submission.
This argument is clearly … without basis in our laws, and I therefore reject the accused’s argument.”
According to the prosecution, the 32 to 33 months’ jail sentence they asked for is due in part to aggravating factors which included Mr Imran’s intentional donation to “one of the most dangerous terrorist organisations in the world,” as well as the fact that he has shown no contrition for his actions.
Channel NewsAsia (CNA) quotes the prosecutor in the case as saying, “He does not recognise Singapore law, despite being a Singaporean who has enjoyed Singaporean citizenship his entire life. Even going so far as to say that he transferred the money to protest Singapore’s participation in the war against IS.”
Mr Imran has been following developments concerning IS since 2013, and even tried to join the entity in 2014, while pretending to provide humanitarian aid to refugees from Syria. In the same year, he also pledged allegiance to IS.
Mr Imran, who refused legal representation and declined to take the stand when the trial started on Monday (Jan 13), said he had nothing more to say during the sentencing.
For the charges against him, he could have spent 10 years in jail, been fined S$500,000, or both.
On Monday, Nicholas Khoo, the Deputy Public Prosecutor on the case, said, “Terrorism is a transnational scourge and Singapore takes its duties as a member of the global community seriously in its unending fight against terrorism and, accordingly, terrorism financing.”
Mr Imran was arrested in September of 2017. Back then, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced that he had been radicalised by the propaganda of IS.
The MHA said that Mr Imran had tried to join IS in Syria at least twice and that he has been prepared to attack personnel from SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) in a global anti-IS coalition or to detain them as hostages.
Mr Imran has also wanted to join the pro-IS forces in Malawi, in the Philippines, and that he has used multiple accounts on social media to promote pro-IS materials. -/TISG