Singaporean, 34, charged with sending money to finance terrorism: MHA

SINGAPORE - A 34-year-old Singaporean man was charged in court on Monday (Sept 16) with terrorism financing, having provided money to support a terrorist overseas, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a press release.

An MHA statement said Ahmed Hussein Abdul Kadir Sheik Uduman had, in 2016, provided two payments of about $1,145 in total to an individual overseas who was "facilitating terrorist acts".

The first payment of $1,059 took place on July 29, 2016, while the second payment of US$62 (S$86) was on Sept 3 that same year.

Providing money in support of terrorist purposes, regardless of the amount, is a serious offence under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act, said MHA.

Hussein, a former information technology engineer, had been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) since August 2018.

He was also issued with a detention order for being radicalised and for intending to undertake armed violence overseas in support of the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

MHA said the detention order against Hussein will be cancelled if he is convicted, and he will serve the prison term imposed by the court.

In such a case, he will be held separately to prevent him from spreading his radical ideas to other inmates, and continue to undergo rehabilitation while serving his prison sentence, the ministry added.

Said MHA: "An assessment will be made at the end of his sentence whether he has been successfully rehabilitated or remains a threat to society.

"If he remains a threat, he may be detained further under the ISA."

In a statement last September (2018), the ministry said Hussein’s radicalisation had started in 2013, after he went online for religious knowledge and followed the lectures of several foreign radical ideologues.

They include Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, an Al-Qaeda ideologue who was killed in 2011 by a United States drone strike in Yemen, and several other foreign clerics who have been arrested or jailed for inciting violence or espousing support for terrorism.

Hussein “grew to believe that the use of violence in the name of religion was justified” and by late 2016, was convinced that he should fight and die as a martyr for ISIS in the terror group’s self-proclaimed caliphate in the Middle East, the ministry said in its statement last year.

 

He had also maintained regular contact with pro-ISIS foreigners on social media to keep up with the developments overseas and also tried to influence some of his foreign online contacts to follow the violent teachings of the radical ideologues he had been following because he wanted them to support ISIS.

In its release on Monday, the ministry said terrorism and its financing are a “grave threat” to both domestic and international security, and global action is needed to deprive terrorist groups of funding and materials.

It warned that members of the public should not remit money of any amount, or provide any support through the provision of services, supplies or any material to a terrorist organisation or for carrying out or facilitating any terrorist act.

The ministry added that anyone with information on such activities should inform the authorities promptly.

Anyone convicted of providing property and services for terrorist purposes may be jailed up to 10 years and fined up to $500,000.

In a separate case in April this year, 35-year-old Imran Kassim was charged in court with terrorism financing, having provided money to support ISIS' propaganda efforts.

The Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act was updated last year, with harsher penalties for individuals and corporations with a high level of culpability in not reporting terrorism-financing offences.