Man charged over Buangkok sword attack, remanded for psychiatric observation

Fadhil Yusop is accused of using a samurai sword to cut Mr Kumarapeli Arachchige Amila Chinthana three times on March 14, 2022. PHOTOS: WHATSAPP VIDEO, SCREENGRAB FROM ROADS.SG/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - A man caught on video swinging a sword at pedestrians and several cars near Buangkok Square mall was charged on Wednesday (March 16) with one count of voluntarily causing hurt with a samurai sword.

Fadhil Yusop, 37, appeared in district court on Wednesday via video link wearing a white shirt with his left arm in a sling.

The Singaporean is accused of using a samurai sword to cut Mr Kumarapeli Arachchige Amila Chinthana three times on Monday, causing the victim to suffer lacerations on his left arm and shoulder.

In an earlier statement, the police said Fadhil had allegedly consumed some unknown pills before leaving his home on Monday with a sword.

He had a brief altercation with members of the public at the lift lobby of the Housing Board block where he resided.

"Subsequently, he jaywalked across the road and is said to have used his weapon to hit five passing cars," said the police.

At the traffic junction in front of Buangkok Square Mall, he allegedly swung the weapon at Mr Chinthana, who fought back and managed to pin Fadhil down.

Remote video URL

Members of the public who saw the commotion rushed forward to help restrain Fadhil until the police arrived.

Fadhil had allegedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" during the incident, which means "God is the greatest" in Arabic.

Investigations so far suggest that his acts were not related to terrorism.

During a raid of his house, the police found two packets of yellow pills.

One other man suffered abrasions on his knee during the incident.

The court heard that Fadhil will be remanded for three weeks at Changi Prison Complex's medical centre for psychiatric observation and his case will be heard again on April 6.

For voluntarily causing hurt, he can be jailed for up to seven years, fined and caned, or any combination of the three.

Fadhil Yusop allegedly used a samurai sword to hit passing cars and attack people on March 14, 2022. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

The Internal Security Department (ISD) said on Tuesday that it had previously investigated Fadhil in 2016 for sharing images of militant groups such as Hamas' Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades online. Hamas is a Palestinian terrorist organisation.

"However, there was no indication that he was radicalised or intended to engage in armed violence. Fadhil was administered with a written warning for his social media posts," said ISD.

About four years later in January 2020, Fadhil was arrested by the police for approaching the imam at Al-Mawaddah mosque in Buangkok with a knife. ISD's joint investigations with the police at the time did not suggest that Fadhil's attack was terrorism-related.

"Fadhil was found to have consumed a large number of pills containing dextromethorphan, which contributed to his behaviour. He was sentenced to nine months and two weeks' imprisonment and was subsequently released in July 2020 (after his sentence was backdated)," said ISD.

Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant also found in some over-the-counter medicine.

Although Fadhil was assessed not to be radicalised, he was referred for religious counselling after this second incident as a matter of precaution, ISD added.

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