4 S'POREANS WANTED TO JOIN ISIS AFTER LISTENING TO BATAM RADIO STATION

4 Singaporeans, Rosli Hamzah, Mohamed Omar Mahadi, his wife Dian Faezah Ismail, and Mohamad Reiney Noor Mohd have been dealt with under the Internal Security Act after they tried to join the Islamic State militant group to fight for them and encouraged others to support armed jihad.

Rosli Hamzah and Mohamed Omar Mahadi had listened to a Batam-based radio station, Radio Hang, and were converted by speakers who preached extremist religion.

Rosli was introduced to IS radical material by social media contacts who shared his religious views, and became more influenced by ISIS propaganda on the internet. He became convinced that ISIS was fighting for Islam, and came to see the beheading of all "enemies" as "religiously permissible".

At the time of his arrest, he continued to believe that fighting for the terrorist group would bring him martyrdom status and had actively shared information on social media to encourage other people to support IS and engaged in violent jihad. He had looked up travel information on how to journey to Syria, but was arrested in July when he returned from Batam after visiting his Indonesian wife and children.

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Similarly, Mohamed Omar Mahadi started to listen to the same Batam radio station and became radicalized by the materials he found on the internet, especially those of the deceased Al-Qaeda preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by US forces in 2011 in Yemen. By 2014, the MHA said that Omar wanted to fight with ISIS to bring glory to Islam and thought that it was his religious duty to become an ISIS fighter and be prepared to die a martyr.

Omar even made preparations with his wife to go to Syria with their children to join ISIS, although MHA says that there is no evidence currently to suggest that their children are similarly affected by ISIS propaganda. In the course of his preparations, he sought help from militants to travel to Syria and read an online ISIS manual providing practical tips on how to join the ISIS in Syria. He even memorized the bai'ah (pledge of allegiance), which he believed bound him to follow the assignments and teachings of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Omar’s wife Dian Faezah Ismail has been issued a restriction order under the ISA for two years. Under a restriction order, a person is not allowed to change his residence or employment or travel out of Singapore without prior approval from the authorities.

Dian, like her husband, also believed ISIS's violent actions were legitimate, and actively helped her husband to relocate their family to Syria. She has since backtracked on her extremist views and will undergo religious counselling, MHA added.

The other Singaporean issued a 2 year-old restriction order was Mohamad Reiney Noor Mohd, who adopted a “more fundamentalist form of religious practice” in 2013 and became influenced by radical Islamic State materials online. He aspired to fight for the terrorist group and was prepared to die in battle as a martyr.

Mohamad Reiney saved money to travel to Syria, and was in the midst of checking for travel routes online and wanted to bring his family with him. He has since changed his views about ISIS after reading about negative reports of the militant group.

Mohamad Reiny was stopped from going to Syria by a close relative, who told him that it was ‘forbidden’ for him to do so because the fighting in Syria did not concern him and he would be placing his family in harm’s way.

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