KUALA LUMPUR - A 34-year-old radicalised man deported from Singapore to Malaysia last year was sentenced to three years' jail on Thursday (April 15) for possessing items related to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Mohd Firdaus Kamal Intdzam, who worked as a cleaner in Singapore, was charged with six counts of possessing items linked to the terrorist group, including two memory cards, a flag, four books and a mobile phone.
He committed the offences at the arrival hall of the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex at the Sultan Iskandar Building in Johor Baru at 10.40am on Aug 5 last year.
The Malaysian pleaded guilty to the charges against him.
"Notwithstanding the mitigating reason given by the accused that is personal in nature, the prosecution humbly submits that the court must also consider the seriousness of the offence," Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Khalilah Abdul Rahman was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency.
"Especially for terrorism-related offences, the court should take judicial notice of the continuing threat of the Islamic State and other such splinter extremist groups within and around the region."
High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah sentenced Firdaus to three years' jail on each count, to be served concurrently from the date of his arrest.
Firdaus, who was unrepresented in court, was arrested by the Singapore authorities in July 2020 under the Internal Security Act. After investigations were completed, he had his work pass cancelled and he was handed over to the Malaysian Special Branch in August last year.
Firdaus had planned to travel to Syria with his Singaporean wife to take up armed violence for ISIS.
Singapore's Internal Security Department (ISD) in February said that his 34-year-old wife, a religious teacher who was radicalised by him and had wanted to go with him to Syria, has been placed on a Restriction Order for two years. Her teaching accreditation has been suspended.
The ISD said there was no indication that Firdaus had made any specific plans to cause violence in Singapore.
Investigations revealed that he started being radicalised in 2016, when he went online to deepen his religious knowledge and was exposed to pro-ISIS content.
"Through sustained exposure to pro-ISIS materials, Firdaus was convinced by early 2018 that ISIS was fighting for Islam, and that its use of violence to create an Islamic caliphate was justified," said the ISD.
It added that Firdaus had regarded a self-declared leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the true Islamic ruler.
Even after ISIS' so-called caliphate fell in the late 2010s, Firdaus remained a fervent supporter of ISIS by actively posting materials promoting the group and armed jihad on his social media accounts.