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Self-radicalised Singaporean youths – one arrested, one detained under ISA

www.channelnewsasia.com

A Singaporean youth has been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for terrorism-related activities since April this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced on Wednesday (May 27).

Additionally, another youth was arrested in May under the ISA for further investigations into the extent of his radicalisation.

The youth detained since April, M Arifil Azim Putra Norja’i, a 19-year-old post-secondary student, is the first known self-radicalised Singaporean to harbour the intention to carry out violent attacks in Singapore, said MHA.

Investigations showed that he had made plans to join the terrorist group, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and that his radicalisation began around 2013 when he started viewing terrorist propaganda online, said MHA.

The ministry said Arifil then grew to support the radical ideology and violent tactics of ISIS, and befriended individuals online whom he thought could help him join the terrorist group. Arifil also actively surfed the Internet for information on travel routes to Syria so that he could engage in armed violence there, and had done research on making improvised explosive devices.

Arifil also revealed that if he was unable to join ISIS in Syria, he intended to carry out violent attacks in Singapore, said MHA. He had put “considerable thought” into how he would attack key facilities and assassinate Government leaders. If he was unable to carry out these plans, Arifil planned to carry out attacks in public places “in order to strike fear within our society”, using “easily available” weapons such as knives, added the ministry.

His intentions to carry out violent attacks were subsequently corroborated by several persons who said he had tried to recruit them to help carry out these plans, according to the MHA. Investigations showed that while these people did not fall prey to Arifil’s attempts to recruit them, they also did not alert the authorities about him, it added.

“Fortunately, another person who knew Arifil noticed the changes in him, and had brought him to the attention of the authorities, who were then able to investigate the matter and take action before he could carry out his violent attack plans in Singapore,” said MHA.

The ministry added that another radicalised Singaporean post-secondary youth, 17, was arrested in May under the ISA for further investigations into the extent of his radicalisation. His family was informed of his arrest, and will be kept informed of the outcome of the investigations. Read More

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Australian teenagers held over alleged Melbourne terror plot

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-32361721

18th April 2015

Police in Australia say they have foiled an Islamic State-inspired plot to carry out an attack at a World War One centenary event.

Police arrested five teenage suspects, charging one 18-year-old with conspiring to commit a terrorist act.

The men were planning to target police at an Anzac memorial event in Melbourne next week, police said.

About 200 police officers took part in the counter-terrorism operation in the city early on Saturday.

Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Neil Gaughan told reporters that evidence suggested the suspects had been influenced by Islamic State.

One of the men, Sevdet Besim, appeared briefly in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Saturday.

Police say a second man held on terrorism-related offences is also likely to be charged.

A third man, also 18, was arrested on weapons charges and two other teenagers, aged 18 and 19, were in custody and assisting with inquiries.

Officials referred to possible attacks using “edged weapons”, but Mr Gaughan said there was no evidence to suggest there was “a planned beheading”.

A broken window from a police raid at a house in Hallam, a suburb of Melbourne, where police made one of several arrest during terror raids in Melbourne, Australia, 18 April 2015
Police conducted several raids in Melbourne on Saturday morning

The men were “associates” of Abdul Numan Haider, a teenager shot dead in September after he stabbed two officers, police said.

Anzac Day is an annual day of remembrance for servicemen and women from Australia and New Zealand. A series of events are planned for next week to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli, Turkey. Read More

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Global terror threat becoming more severe: DPM Teo Chee Hean

www.channelnewsasia.com/16th April 2015

The terrorism threat has grown more severe since the watershed events of 911, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Thursday (Apr 16) at the East Asia symposium on religious rehabilitation and social integration.

He cited the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which “has exploited Islam, distorting religious tenets to serve violent political agenda”.

Emerging challenges include the “returnees” threat – foreign fighters who may continue with ISIS’ violent agenda, even after they leave Syria or Iraq. Mr Teo, who is also Home Affairs Minister, said this new generation of foreign fighters will pose an international security threat for decades to come.

Another threat is that of “lone wolf terrorists” – individuals who fall under the influence of the violent ideology of ISIS and proceed to carry out attacks, on the own, in their home countries.

“Being lone wolves, their identities may not be easily uncovered and they can strike at any time, using any means at their disposal, like knives or cars to mow down innocents,” said Mr Teo.

Such attacks have already occurred in countries like Australia, Canada, the United States, France and Denmark. Many individuals, especially youths, he said, have fallen prey to ISIS’ propaganda.

“The security threat posed by returnees has already manifested in several incidents. One of them was Nemouche, a French national who had fought in Syria and later went to Brussels where he killed several people at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in May 2014,” said Mr Teo.

“Nemouche is pertinent to us because enroute from Syria to Belgium, he had travelled through Southeast Asia, including Singapore,” he noted.

Mr Teo added that one common characteristic that has been observed among radicalised individuals that were investigated in Singapore is that “they possess weak religious grounding”.

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