S'pore youth put on Restriction Order under ISA after probe into extent of his radicalisation

SINGAPORE - A Singaporean youth who was arrested so that investigations could be carried out into the extent of his radicalisation, has been placed on a Restriction Order (RO) under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for two years starting this month .

The 17-year-old youth, who was arrested last month and was not named, has been released from custody but is required to abide by conditions specified in the RO, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement on Monday.

The ministry said investigations showed that the youth had become radicalised after viewing videos and materials on websites and social media materials propagated by "radical ideologues and terrorist elements".

"He had wanted to engage in armed violence alongside the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and had started making preparations to carry out his plans," the statement said without elaborating on what these plans were.

Having been released from custody, the youth is required to abide by a series of conditions.

He will have to attend religious counselling and must stop accessing violent or extremist online material. He will also not be allowed to leave Singapore without permission or be able to issue public statements.

The ministry said that the youth's release on a Restriction Order with conditions attached, "provides a balance between rehabilitation and preserving public security".

"Further measures will be taken against him if he breaches the conditions of the RO, or if it is assessed that further measures are needed to protect public security."

In April 2015, another youth was detained under the ISA for terrorism-related activities.

M Arifil Azim Putra Norja'i, 19, had planned to carry out violent attacks in Singapore and to assassinate President Tony Tan and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong if he was unable to go to Syria to join ISIS.

In its statement on Monday, the ministry reiterated that the community has an important role to play in protecting fellow Singaporeans from radicalisation and terrorism.

Family members and the public can call the Internal Security Department Counter-Terrorism Centre hotline at 1800-2626-473 should they know of or suspect that someone is radicalised.

"This could save such individuals and allow them to be helped and counselled, so that they are prevented from engaging in violent activities that may cause harm to themselves and others," the statement added.