Two Singaporeans detained for planning to join ISIS

Two Singaporeans were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in August for planning to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group and engage in violence, the Ministry of Home Affairs said yesterday.

They are Muhammad Shamin Mohamed Sidek, 29, who was previously convicted in May of inciting violence on social media, and Muhammad Harith Jailani, 18.

Shamin, then a security guard, was sentenced by the State Courts to three months' jail for inciting religious violence through his pro-ISIS postings. The ministry said he was arrested under the ISA in July "as he continued to express unstinting support for ISIS throughout his three-month imprisonment".

The Internal Security Department found that Shamin planned to travel to Syria to join ISIS once he had raised enough money to fund the trip. He also decided that if he was unable to join ISIS, he would consider fighting alongside a regional militant group aligned with ISIS.

As for Harith, the ministry said he was radicalised by ISIS' online propaganda: "He was prepared to be trained by ISIS to fight and kill the group's enemies, and to die in the process so that he would receive divine rewards for dying as a martyr."

He collected information on how he could travel to Syria and tried to recruit others.

The latest arrests bring to four the number of Singaporeans detained for planning to join ISIS. A youth was also put under a Restriction Order for two years in June.

The ministry said the latest cases "underline the persistent ISIS threat and the threat posed by self-radicalised Singaporeans".

"A few of the Singaporeans who have been detained had even been prepared to carry out terrorist attacks in Singapore," it added.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2015, with the headline 'Two Singaporeans detained for planning to join ISIS'. Print Edition | Subscribe