Singapore — A 16-year-old Singaporean was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in December last year after he was found to have made “detailed plans” and preparations to conduct terrorist attacks with a machete against Muslims at two mosques.
According to a press release by the Internal Security Department (ISD) on Wednesday (Jan 27), the youth is a Protestant Christian of Indian ethnicity and was motivated by a strong antipathy towards Islam and a fascination with violence.
According to the ISD, he watched the live-streamed video of the terrorist attack on the two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15, 2019, and read the manifesto of the Christchurch attacker, Brenton Tarrant.
The young man watched propaganda-filled videos and came to the erroneous conclusion that ISIS represented Islam, and that Islam called on its followers to kill non-believers.
According to the ISD, he planned to carry out his attacks on March 15, 2021, the anniversary of the Christchurch attacks. He chose Assyafaah Mosque and Yusof Ishak Mosque as his targets because they were near his home.
He conducted online reconnaissance and research on both mosques to prepare for the attack.
He also intended to drive between the two attack sites and, therefore, devised a plan to procure a vehicle to use during the attack.
The youth also bought a tactical vest from an online platform, and intended to adorn the vest with right-wing extremist symbols, and modify it so that he could strap on his mobile device to live-stream the attack, just like Tarrant.
At the point of his arrest by ISD, the youth had found his choice machete on Carousell but had yet to purchase it.
The ISD added that, in order to prepare himself for the knifing attack, the youth had watched YouTube videos, and was confident that he would be able to hit the arteries of his targets by randomly slashing at the neck and chest areas.
The ISD’s investigation to-date indicates that the youth had acted alone. There was also no indication that he had tried to influence anyone with his extreme outlook or involve others in his attack plans.
His immediate family and others in his social circles were not aware of his attack plans and the depth of his hatred for Islam.
The ISD urged the public to contact the ISD Counter-Terrorism Centre hotline at 1800-2626-473 if they had any information in this regard.
The public can also call 999, send an SMS to 71999, or use the “Report” function in the SGSecure application if they spot suspicious items or individuals. /TISG
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