A group of 8 Indonesians were arrested by Singapoe customs yesterday at Woodlands Checkpoint after they tried to enter the country at 1.30AM yesterday. One of the Indonesians among the group was found with Islamic State propaganda and images in his mobile phone, which showed an Islamic State flag, Islamic State “activity” and a homemade shoe bomb.

They were handed over to Malaysian police for investigations. They had been detained from 2.30AM to 9AM for questioning in Malaysia before being deported to Batam by ferry for questioning by Indonesian police.

The Indonesians’ ages ranged from 16 to 37 years old, with most of them in their 20s. The oldest man was the leader of the group, he went by the initials REH.

The group had arrived in Kuala Lumpur by plane on 3 January from Padang in West Sumatra. They were in Malaysia to preach and for REH to seek medical treatment. On 7 January, they traveled to Phatani in Thailand to learn about the state of Islamic education at the Islamic Education Board there. They then returned to Malaysia and proceeded to Singapore on Monday.

Preliminary investigation reports by Malaysian police suggest that the group were not followers of the Islamic State, but were “subscribed to the mainstream teachings of Islam that rejected Islamic State ideology”.

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