Singapore — Imran bin Mahmood, a radicalised 40-year-old Singaporean, was issued an Order of Detention (OD) under the Internal Security Act (ISA). This was announced in a press statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) released on June 25, Tuesday.
Mr Imran, who is unemployed, was detained in January of this year after investigations proved he was “radicalised and harboured an intention to travel to Syria to join the terrorist group ISIS.”
The statement from the MHA said that Mr Imran began to be radicalised in 2013, through listening to lectures online of “foreign religious preachers, including those who preached about the imminent coming of the end-times.” He, therefore, became an avid supporter of the violent actions and goals of ISIS.
The following year, he began to want to live under “ISIS’s so-called caliphate in Syria/Iraq.” He then studied how to enter Syria, and showed a willingness to fight for Syria and defend and expand its territory.
He also believed that if he died while fighting for ISIS, he would become a martyr for his cause.
The MHA statement also said that Mr Imran was prepared to join in other such militant and terrorist groups in the region, such as the Free Syrian Army and Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, a group associated with Al-Qaeda.
In the MHA’s statement, which is entitled,“Update on Actions Taken Under the Internal Security Act,”also details the Restriction Orders (RO) against two individuals, a man and a woman named Mohamad Fairuz bin Junaidi and Rasidah binte Mazlan respectively.
The RO against Mr Fairuz, a food deliveryman aged 39, was issued in March 2019. Investigations show that Mr Fairuz was influenced by the radical ideology of ISIS and that he had thought about going to Syria to join ISIS and to fight alongside the organization. Like Mr Imran, Mr Fairuz also believed he would become a martyr if he died for ISIS and furthermore, “He also refused to believe mainstream media reporting about ISIS’s atrocities, and saw them as fabrications to discredit the terrorist group,” the MHA statement said.
Mr Fairuz, who has begun to doubt IS’ legitimacy, will be receiving counseling and rehabilitation while under the RO.
Ms Rasidah, a production technician aged 62, was also issued an RO in March. She had communicated with several foreign entities who are linked to terrorism, which includes people supportive of ISIS. Ms Rasidah had been deeply sympathetic to the plight of Muslims in conflict areas overseas.
The MHA statement added, “Her indiscriminate online activity rendered her vulnerable to adverse influence and recruitment by terrorist elements who pose a threat to Singapore. As such, she was placed on a RO to prevent her from resuming her contacts with such elements, and to allow her to undergo counselling/rehabilitation.”
The MHA also said that four Singaporeans who had been detained under ISA were released in March and June, namely 50-year-old Abd Rahim Abdul Rahman, 30-year-old Asyrani Hussaini, 26-year-old Muhammad Khairul Mohamed, and 24-year-old Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari, who is the first woman detained for radicalism under ISA.
“The four had shown good progress in their rehabilitation and assessed to no longer pose a security threat that requires preventive detention. Abd Rahim’s detention was suspended with a Suspension Direction (SD) in March 2019. Asyrani was released on a RO when his OD expired in March 2019, while Izzah and Khairul were released on ROs when their ODs expired in June 2019,” the statement read.
Masagos Zulkifli, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, wrote in a Facebook post on June 25, “I am saddened to find out about the issuance of the Order of Detention (OD) and Restriction Order (RO) to three Singaporeans. The three individuals Imran Mahmood, Mohamad Fairuz Junaidi and Rasidah Mazlan were exposed to radical online material and subscribed to dangerous ideologies, which encouraged Muslims to travel to Syria to fight along ISIS as a divine means to reach martyrdom.
These cases illustrate that there will always be those who are vulnerable to radicalisation and our vigilance against it is a continuing one. Over the years, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) has stepped up both its online and offline engagement to counter such ideologies. We have to stay vigilant and work closely with MUIS and the authorities to eradicate this threat. Indeed this is why such arrests are few and far in between.
Alongside these three new cases of radicalisation, four detainees have been released. As a community, we must help them to reintegrate into society and continue to look out and care for one another. We must not allow the actions of a misguided few to overshadow the achievements of our community. Our Malay/Muslim community stands united and strong with fellow Singaporeans to keep our nation safe and secure.” / TISG