Singaporean arrested under ISA for supporting ISIS, 3 others released

A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and and Syria (ISIS) holds an ISIS flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, Iraq June 23, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS
The eight Bangladeshi nationals (clockwise from top left) Islam Shariful, Mamun Leakot Ali, Md Jabath Kysar Haje Norul Islam Sowdagar, Miah Rubel, Rahman Mizanur, Sohag Ibrahim, Sohel Hawlader Ismail Hawlader and Zzaman Daulat. PHOTOS: MHA

SINGAPORE - A 33-year-old Singaporean supporter of terror group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was arrested under the Internal Security Act in August, the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Thursday (Oct 6).

Asrul Alias, a technician, has been placed under a two-year Restriction Order - which curtails his movements and activities - after investigations, the ministry added in a statement.

It also said Asrul will undergo religious counselling while on the Restriction Order.

The ministry said Asrul came across and became influenced by pro-ISIS propaganda after he started reading online material on the conflict in Syria in 2014.

He then actively looked up information supportive of ISIS and shared them on social media to spread the terror group's radical ideology.

He also spoke up against criticisms of ISIS that he encountered online, the ministry said.

Asrul stopped posting pro-ISIS material online after heeding the warnings of a family member and a close friend sometime last year and early this year.

But he remained supportive of ISIS and continue to consume the terror group's propaganda online.

A person who is under a Restriction Order must abide by certain conditions. For instance, he cannot change his residence or employment, or travel out of Singapore, without the approval of the director of the Internal Security Department.

In its statement, the ministry also announced that Singaporean Mohammad Razif Yahya, 28, was released conditionally from detention under a Suspension Direction this month "after it was assessed that he no longer posed a security threat that required him to be placed in preventive detention".

He had been detained in August last year for voluntarily fighting in Yemen after he began studying at a religious institution there in January 2010.

Razif had signed up for armed sentry duties against possible attacks by Houthi rebels. He went through sniper training, was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and a Dragunov sniper rifle, and was involved in fighting the Houthis.

The ministry may revoke a Suspension Direction and detain the individual again if he does not comply with certain conditions, such as prohibition from associating with militant or terrorist groups.

Meanwhile, two Bangladeshi nationals who were detained in April this year were repatriated to Bangladesh last month after investigations into them were completed.

Sohag Ibrahim, 28, and Islam Shariful, 27, were two of eight Bangladeshi nationals who were detained for their involvement in a group they named the Islamic State in Bangladesh.

They had intended to join ISIS as foreign fighters. If they could not travel to Syria, they would return home to topple their government through violence and bring it under ISIS' self-declared caliphate.

In July and August, the remaining six Bangladeshi nationals were jailed for financing terrorism and received sentences of between two and five years' imprisonment.

They had contributed funds to buy firearms for the group's terror plans in Bangladesh.

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