Teo Chee Hean, Home Affairs

Budget 2013: Self-radicalised individual re-detained

A former detainee under the Internal Security Act (ISA) was re-arrested and placed under detention after he was found to have reverted to his past interest in undertaking militant jihad abroad.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean said in his Committee of Supply speech on Thursday that the self-radicalised Abdul Basheer Abdul Kader was re-arrested last year and placed under detention, "to prevent him from pursuing his violent agenda".

"Abdul Basheer is a timely reminder that Singapore must continue to invest efforts in the rehabilitation of our terrorist detainees," said DPM Teo.

Abdul Basheer is a Singaporean law graduate who is said to have studied at Raffles Institution and National Junior College. Now in his 30s, he was first detained in February 2007 after he made specific plans to pursue militant jihad in Afghanistan. He was released three years later and initially made some progress in reintegrating into society.

However, while under the ISA post-release supervision regime, Abdul Basheer made enquiries as to how he could leave Singapore, illegally if necessary, to pursue his earlier agenda. He had made plans to take up arms against foreign military presence in places including Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and Syria.

Factors contributing to his relapse include the surfing of radical websites that propagated virulent extremist ideology, and political events in Middle-Eastern countries.

Between November last year and last month, three individuals were released from detention under the ISA. Two of them, Ishak Mohamed Noohu and Mohamed Hussain Saynudin, were members of the Singapore Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist network. The third, Maksham Mohd Shah, was a self-radicalised individual. All three were released after they were assessed to no longer pose a security threat needing preventive detention.

Since January 2002, 64 people have been detained under the ISA for their involvement in terrorism-related activities. Of these, more than two-thirds have been released.