Three Indonesian women – Anindia Afiyantari (33), Retno Hernayani (36), and Turminihave (31) have been working as domestic workers in Singapore for six to 13 years and have now been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for alleged terrorism financing activities, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a press release.
The three were radicalised in 2018. Anindia and Retno first met at a social gathering in Singapore during their days off, while Turmini connected with them on social media.
“Over time, they developed a network of pro-militant foreign online contacts, including ‘online boyfriends’ who shared their pro-ISIS ideology,” said MHA.
Anindia and Retno wanted to travel to Syria and join Islamic State while Anindia was prepared to take up arms for a terror group in Syria and become a suicide bomber. The two women were also encouraged by their online contacts to migrate to the southern Philippines, Afghanistan or Africa to join pro-Islamic State groups in these areas.
According to MHA, Retno believed that Muslims were duty-bound to travel to other conflict zones such as Palestine and Kashmir to fight against “the enemies of Islam.”
All three women “actively galvanised” support online for Islamic State, each maintaining several social media accounts to post pro-Islamic State material.
They also donated funds to entities based overseas for terrorism-related purposes, such as to support the activities of Islamic State and Indonesia-based terrorist group Jemaah Anshorut Daulah (JAD), which is affiliated with Islamic State. The three became strong supporters of the terrorist group.
Turmini believed her donations would earn her a place in paradise, said MHA.
In 2018, the three women became radicalised after they started listening and watching online materials related to Islamic State.
They became convinced that the Islamic State’s fighting for Islam and its use of violence against “infidels” was justified. They became more radicalised after joining multiple pro-Islamic State social media chat groups and channels.
“They were drawn to the violent visuals disseminated on these platforms, such as ISIS’s (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) bomb attacks and beheading videos, as well as recycled propaganda on (Islamic State’s) past victories in the battlefield,” it said.
They were also influenced by the online sermons of Indonesian radical preachers.
“The fact that all three individuals in the present case were radicalised in 2018, at a time when ISIS’ physical territory was already significantly diminished, highlights the enduring appeal of ISIS’ violent ideology,” MHA said.
None of the three women were found to have plans to carry out acts of violence in Singapore, but their radicalisation and their association with terrorists overseas has rendered them a security threat to the country, said MHA. -/TISG