The Ministry of Home Affairs has detained Singapore’s first self-radicalized female citizen in June, said a MHA statement published today (12 June 2017).
The 22 year-old detainee, Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari, had believed that the terrorist group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) represented the “true spirit of Islam”. She later developed an online network of contact with ISIS militants and supporters, several of whom have been killed in Syria or arrested for terrorism-related activities.
When she was detained, Izzah had been working as a contract infant “educarer” with the PAP Community Foundation Sparkletots preschool programme. Sometime in April, she had “boasted” to a contact that the Singapore authorities had yet to discover her plans.
Since 2014, Izzah has posted and shared pro-ISIS materials online. When social media administrators removed her accounts, she created new ones.
MHA states that Izzah was already actively planning to make her way to Syria with her young child when she was detained.
“She said she would support her husband if he fought for ISIS in Syria as she believed she would reap ‘heavenly rewards’ if he died in battle. With her ‘elevated status’ as a ‘martyr’s widow’, she felt she could (then) easily marry another ISIS fighter in Syria.”
She was also prepared to undergo military training and fight for ISIS, the Ministry statement added.
The news was first reported on Channel News Asia this afternoon, but was later hastily removed. This did not escape the eyes of netizens, who posted on social media site Reddit Singapore, asking why the article had been removed. Some netizens speculate that the news had been embargoed.