New tool being developed to help detect online extremists early

SINGAPORE - A new tool is being developed by the Home Team Behavioural Science Centre to detect individuals engaged in violent extremism early, and to prioritise interventions for these high-risk persons.

Psychologists from the centre are also working with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and academics from the University of Portsmouth on a security screening questionnaire, aimed at enhancing interview protocols used by immigration officers to screen and detect "undesirable persons".

These initiatives were announced by Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Mr Desmond Lee on Wednesday (July 13) at the third Asian Conference of Criminal and Operations Psychology.

The three-day conference, attended by almost 300 participants, was held at the Novotel Singapore at Clarke Quay and will end on Friday (July 15).

"We are living in dangerous times. To keep our people secure, our security and law enforcement agencies have to maintain a constant high state of vigilance," said Mr Lee, who is also an MP for Jurong GRC.

He added: "Applying psychology and behavioural science principles can optimise our security and law enforcement operations, and maximise our scarce resources, especially people."

No further details were available on the two initiatives.

The Ministry of Home Affairs said that they were still in the early stages and more details would be revealed in the future.