The Ministry of Home Affairs announced today that 27 Bangladeshi construction workers were arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) after they were found out to be planning armed jihad overseas and in their homeland. This is the first reported instance of foreigners being arrested for wanting to prepare attacks overseas. The men were arrested between 16 Nov 2015 and 1 Dec 2015 last year.
Investigations indicate they were not planning any terrorist attacks in Singapore but some wished to return to Bangladesh to wage jihad against the Bangladeshi government. They were found to have donated money to extremist groups in Bangladesh. The men belonged to an extremist religious study group which subscribed to radical preachers like Anwar al-Awlaki and shared jihad-related documents with one another. They supported terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and the infamous Islamic State, with some thinking of joining the fight in the Middle East.
MHA said: “The Government takes a very serious view of any form of support for terrorism and will take firm and decisive action against any person who engages in any activity in support of terrorism. Foreigners are guests of our country and they should not abuse this privilege and use Singapore as a base to import their own domestic political agenda and carry out activities in pursuit of such an agenda. Foreign religious speakers who propagate divisive doctrines which could lead to mistrust, enmity and hatred among local religious groups and undermine Singapore’s social cohesion are not welcomed and will not be allowed to operate in Singapore.”
MHA urged members of the public who is aware or suspects that a person has been radicalised to promptly inform the Internal Security Department at 1800-2626-473 or call the police.