2 years' jail for maid who contributed $130 to support terrorist acts

SINGAPORE - A domestic helper who earned just $600 a month contributed $130 in total last year to support terrorist acts.

Indonesian Anindia Afiyantari also uploaded videos supporting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group onto her Facebook accounts.

Whenever her accounts were blocked, she would create another one using a different e-mail address.

Her multiple accounts were eventually banned from Facebook

Anindia, 32, was sentenced on Thursday (March 5) to two years' jail after pleading guilty to three terrorism financing charges under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act involving $90.

Two other similar charges linked to the remaining $40 were taken into consideration during sentencing.

She was the third Indonesian maid in recent weeks to be dealt with in Singapore courts over similar offences.

On Feb 12, Turmini, 31, who goes by only one name, was sentenced to three years and nine months in jail, while Retno Hernayani, 37, was ordered to spend 1½ years behind bars.

Around 2010, Anindia learnt about Indonesia-based terrorist group Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) after watching a news programme about the arrest of radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir.

After this, she followed news about the ISIS-affiliated group through her friends in Indonesia.

She later befriended three other Indonesian maids, Retno, Yulistika and Nurhasanah, in 2018 and became close friends with the trio.

Yulistika and Nurhasanah, both 33, have since left Singapore.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Khoo said the four women identified with the ideologies of ISIS and JAD.

They would also occasionally meet to discuss their understanding of ISIS and the practices of Islamic law under the group.

Through these meetings and online platforms, Anindia's interest in the two terrorist groups grew, as she felt that her beliefs aligned with their causes.

The DPP told District Judge Ong Luan Tze: "For example, the accused identified with JAD's use of physical violence against the Indonesian government in order to establish Islamic law in Indonesia.

"She also supported ISIS' and JAD's use of suicide bombings because they could kill more 'enemies of Islam'."

In January last year, Anindia saw on her messaging apps an appeal for donation by a purported religious charity known as the Anfiqu Centre, which advanced JAD's causes.

She and Yulistika then decided to donate $20 to it every month.

Two months later, she gave $20 to Yulistika who remitted the money to Indonesia. On her own, Anindia remitted another $50 last July.

Besides this, she met her three friends in Paya Lebar in March last year and they agreed to donate to another purported religious charity known as the Aseer Cruee Centre to help the families of JAD members who had died or were in prison.

Each woman contributed $20 and Retno remitted the money to her fiance, Fikri Zulfikar in Indonesia, who was a known supporter of terrorist entities.

It was not mentioned in court how Anindia's offences came to light but she was arrested on Aug 20 last year.

For each charge of the offence under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act, offenders can be jailed up to 10 years and fined up to $500,000.

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