Singapore

Singaporean jihadist appears in ISIS video

Local authorities say Megat Shahdan has been on their radar for some time

The first known ISIS recruitment video featuring a Singaporean fighter has surfaced on social media, and the authorities here say he has been on their radar for some time.

The man was identified by the Home Affairs Ministry as Megat Shahdan Abdul Samad, 39.

He left Singapore in 2014 to work in the Middle East, where he is believed to have been radicalised, the ministry said in a statement yesterday.

"He subsequently made his way to Syria to join ISIS' ranks. He is believed to still be with ISIS in Syria," it added.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said in a Facebook post that the Internal Security Department had been aware of Megat Shahdan's activities and had spoken to community leaders about him.

The video was posted by Al Hayat Media Centre, a media arm of terror group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and shared by its South-east Asian supporters. It shows a fighter dressed in desert fatigues, who identifies himself as "Abu Uqayl from Singapore".

ISIS fighters commonly take on assumed names.

In the 3min 30sec video, seen by The Straits Times, a group of three fighters, including Megat Shahdan, are loading artillery rounds onto a truck in what is believed to be ISIS-held territory in the Middle East.

The video was first flagged on social media sites SMRT Feedback and Observer+. It is part of a series of propaganda videos titled Inside The Caliphate.

Earlier videos appealed to Muslims in South-east Asia to migrate to Marawi in southern Philippines to fight for ISIS.

We expected this will happen some time. Over time, we must assume more of this will happen. Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam on the ISIS recruitment video by Singaporean Megat Shahdan Abdul Samad

Speaking to the camera in English, Megat Shahdan praised fighters in "East Asia" - which includes South-east Asia - calling on them to "sacrifice all that is precious".

He then urged extremists elsewhere to join the East Asian fighters or to travel to the Middle East to fight with ISIS.

He also addressed Britain's Prince Harry, who visited Singapore in June, saying: "To Harry, you come to Singapore and tell such stories to gain sympathy for the London terror attacks? Why don't you come here and fight us if you are man enough? So we can send you and your Apaches to hellfire."

Referring to the video, Mr Shanmugam said: "We expected this will happen some time. Over time, we must assume more of this will happen."

ST understands that Megat Shahdan has previous drug-related and criminal convictions.

ISISK Shanmugamterrorism