Man detained again, restrictions for teen

Iraqi pro-governement forces fire their weapons on a front line in the Albu Huwa area on May 31 during an operation aimed at retaking areas from the Islamic State group.
Iraqi pro-governement forces fire their weapons on a front line in the Albu Huwa area on May 31 during an operation aimed at retaking areas from the Islamic State group. PHOTO: AFP

Six years ago, Singaporean Muhammad Fadil Abdul Hamid was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for planning to engage in armed violence.

He was released from detention in 2012 and placed on a Restriction Order (RO), which limited his movements and activities.

However, Fadil, now 27, relapsed and was detained under the ISA again for two years in April this year. He intended to join a terror group like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and take up arms in Syria, the Ministry of Home Affairs said yesterday.

The ministry also announced that a 17-year-old male Singaporean, who recently graduated from a madrasah here, was issued with an RO for two years this month.

The youth, who was not named, is the first known graduate of a local madrasah to be radicalised in a manner that required action to be taken against him.

In Fadil's case, the then full-time national serviceman had surfed the Internet for militant material and videos, and made contact with radical ideologue Anwar Al-Awlaki and an Al-Qaeda recruiter who encouraged him to fight in Afghanistan.

After his release, he made some progress in reintegrating into society, but he became drawn to radical online material again, the ministry said. "He became convinced that partaking in the violence in Syria was 'justifiable jihad' and harboured the intention to fight alongside ISIS militants in Syria.

"He had to be detained to prevent him from pursuing his violent agenda," the ministry added.

As for the 17-year-old former student, the ministry said investigations showed he had become radicalised online from accessing pro-ISIS videos, websites and social media.

"He became convinced that ISIS' violent actions were justified and harboured the intention to fight for ISIS in Syria in the future where he was prepared to die a martyr. He had sought out other like-minded individuals online, and also tried to influence his friends with his pro-ISIS views," the ministry said.

"Despite their advice and objections against ISIS, he persisted in his support for ISIS," it added.

He was placed on RO "to prevent him from going further down the path of radicalism and violence".

Those on RO are not allowed to move house, change jobs, travel abroad or make public statements without permission from the Internal Security Department's director.

Meanwhile, two other radicalised Singaporeans have shown improvement, the ministry said.

Self-radicalised lawyer Abdul Basheer Abdul Kader, 37, who was arrested abroad in 2007 and detained again in 2012 as he tried to travel to Syria to fight, was released conditionally on a suspension direction in February this year after the authorities said he no longer posed a security threat that needed preventive detention.

The RO placed on Rijal Yadri Jumari, 35, a former member of the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) cell in Pakistan aimed at grooming JI leaders, was also allowed to lapse in March.

He was detained under the ISA from March 2008 to March 2012.

At present, there are 20 persons in detention and 22 on ROs.

Lim Yan Liang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2016, with the headline 'Man detained again, restrictions for teen'. Print Edition | Subscribe