Singapore

MHA detains infant care assistant under ISA for radicalism

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has detained an infant care assistant for radicalism. She is the first female to be detained in Singapore under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari, a 22-year-old contract infant care assistant with PCF Sparkletots, was planning to bring her young child to Syria to join the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) and defend its self-declared "caliphate", said an MHA statement.

After reading online propaganda about the terrorist group in 2013, Izzah began to believe that ISIS represented the true spirit of Islam.

As she widened her network of foreign online contacts comprising of ISIS fighters and supporters, Izzah aspired to live in the "caliphate" by finding "a Salafi or ISIS supporter" to marry and settle down in Syria.

While she sought to support her husband if he fought for the group believing she would reap "heavenly rewards" if he died in battle, Izzah had stated she was prepared to undergo military training to defend ISIS if need be.

Since 2014, Izzah has actively posted and shared pro-ISIS material online and continued to do so despite administrators taking down her accounts.

In April, she boasted to a contact that the authorities were not aware of her activities.

While her parents and sister came to know about her ideological leanings in 2015, they did not alert the authorities and tried to dissuade her but were unsuccessful.

She was eventually detained in June, although a family member managed to destroy evidence of her plans to join ISIS while she was under investigation.

REPORT SUSPECTED RADICALISED INDIVIDUALS

MHA has been urging the public to report suspected radicalised individuals as soon as possible, especially in light of the recent London terrorist attack where vehicles and knives were used.

"Such an act would drive a wedge between Muslims and non-Muslims and divide our communities, which is precisely what the terrorist groups want," said MHA.

"The authorities are working hard to keep Singapore safe but they cannot do it alone. Every person in the community can help to protect Singapore and Singaporeans from the threat of terrorism.

"Relatives and friends are best-placed to notice the possible signs of radicalisation.

MHA said that early reporting could enable the individual at risk of radicalisation to be given proper guidance and counselling, and may not need to be severely dealt with under the law.

Anyone who knows or suspects that a person is radicalised should promptly call the ISD Counter-Terrorism Centre hotline 1800-2626-473 (1800-2626-ISD).

MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS (MHA)ISIScrime