Singaporean admits he transferred money abroad to help fund ISIS
He argues in court that he did not break law as he recognises only syariah law
The first Singaporean to be charged with terror financing admitted in his trial yesterday that he had transferred funds overseas to support the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.
Former logistics professional Imran Kassim, 36, was charged with transferring $450 through remittance company Western Union to Mohamad Alsaied Alhmidan in Turkey for the publication of ISIS propaganda about six years ago.
"I do admit to making the transfer, and I did it to benefit the Islamic State," he said, using another common name for ISIS.
On an official website, the US government lists Mohamad Alsaied as a specially designated national and says he is linked to ISIS.
Under Singapore's Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act, introduced in 2002 to counter terrorism financing here, anyone convicted of the offence of providing property and services for terrorist purposes could be jailed for up to 10 years, fined up to $500,000, or both.
Imran, who was taken into court handcuffed and blindfolded, is representing himself.
The court heard that he was previously represented by a law firm, which has since discharged itself.
In court yesterday, Imran argued that while he had made the fund transfer to ISIS, he had not broken the law as he did not recognise Singapore law and recognised only syariah law.
Mainstream Islamic scholars say Muslims are obliged to follow the laws of the land where they live, and that ISIS and its violence are a distortion of Islamic teachings.
Imran has been detained under the Internal Security Act since August 2017 and was issued a detention order for intending to take part in armed violence overseas.
In April last year, he was the first Singaporean here to be charged with terror financing.
Last October, former IT professional Ahmed Hussein Abdul Kadir Sheik Uduman, 35, became the first Singaporean to be convicted of funding terrorism. He was sentenced to 2½ years in jail. He had been charged the month before.
In Imran's case, a parallel investigation by the police's Commercial Affairs Department found that he had provided funds to aid ISIS.
Deputy Public Prosecutors Nicholas Khoo and Foo Shi Hao said: "Terrorism is a transnational scourge, and Singapore takes its duties as a member of the global community seriously in its unending fight against terrorism, and accordingly, terrorism financing."
DPP Khoo said Imran had transferred the money knowing it would benefit the terror group by "garnering more support and raising awareness for ISIS".
The prosecution closed its case yesterday morning, arguing that with the bank receipt and form, Imran's statements to the police and his own admissions, the charge against him had been made out.
Yesterday, Imran's family requested to speak to him during a break before he gave his closing submissions for his defence, which District Judge Seah Chi-Ling allowed.
In open court, some of his family members tried to convince him to say he was supporting "charitable causes" and not violence.
But Imran refused.
Pleading with him, a male family member asked Imran to "think about (his) family", to which Imran said this had "nothing to do" with his family.
The judge is expected to deliver his verdict today.