Singapore — A 17-year-old ISIS supporter has become the youngest person to be detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA).
According to straitstimes.com, the secondary school student was radicalised in 2017 through online propaganda after a “foreign online contact” led him to online pro-ISIS groups. He was only around 15 at the time.
On Monday (Feb 10), the Ministry of Home Affairs said the youth was investigated in September 2017 after he put up vandalised photos of President Halimah Yacob online and called for her beheading by ISIS. Although living in Singapore, he viewed it as an “infidel” state.
According to channelnewsasia.com, the ministry said that, through the groups, “he gained access to what he believed was exclusive ISIS (Islamic State) content. In his eyes, ISIS was a powerful group that was fighting for Islam and its use of violence against its opponents was therefore justified”.
The ministry said that it made efforts to “steer him away from the radical path” but that these were not successful as he remained willing to support the group’s propaganda despite the downfall of its caliphate. He was, therefore, detained last month.
Mr Amrin Amin, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs, said in a Facebook post on Monday (Feb 10): “I feel sad for this young, impressionable boy. He was gullible and terribly misled.” He was “brainwashed to think ISIS was fighting for Islam and violence was acceptable. He was manipulated, preyed on by overseas extremist influences”.
Mr Amrin used the case to stress the importance of parental involvement in the lives of children, which includes “monitoring what our young view online, who they befriend, who they talk to”. He also highlighted “proper religious guidance”, encouraging people to look for qualified religious teachers and cross-check them with the Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS), also known as the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. “Be with our children, love them, spend time with them, educate and guide them to understand the true religious tenets,” he said.
He added that ISIS remains a threat. “This is a battle for hearts and minds,” he said, as he urged people to fight for a society wherein all people, regardless of their religion, can live together peacefully. “We must prevail.” /TISG
17-year old male secondary school student detained in Jan 2020 under the Internal Security Act.I feel sad for this…