2 self-radicalised Singaporeans released from detention under ISA, 6 more have restrictions lifted

SINGAPORE – Two self-radicalised Singaporeans previously detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) were released in August, after showing “good progress” in their rehabilitation, said the Internal Security Department (ISD) on Tuesday (Dec 14).

Muhammad Shamin Mohamed Sidek, 35, and Mohamed Omar Mahadi, 38, were assessed to “no longer pose a security threat requiring  preventive detention”, the ISD said in a statement.

Shamin was self-radicalised by online propaganda and was arrested and jailed in May 2015 under the Penal Code after he incited religious violence through pro-ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) postings on social media, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said at the time.

He continued to express unstinting support for ISIS while in prison and was later detained under the ISA in August 2015.

ISD’s investigations showed that he planned to travel to Syria to join ISIS once he had raised enough money to fund the trip.

The MHA said Shamin had decided that if he was unable to do so, he would consider fighting alongside a regional militant group that he considered to be aligned with ISIS. He was reportedly undeterred by his arrest under the ISA and had said he would pursue his plans to join ISIS after his release from detention.

The ISD said on Tuesday that Shamin was released in August this year on a restriction order, meaning he must abide by several conditions and restrictions.

For example, he is not permitted to change his residence or employment, or travel out of Singapore, without the approval of the ISD’s director.

He also cannot access the Internet or social media, issue public statements, address public meetings or print, distribute, contribute to any publication, hold office in, or be a member of any organisation, association or group, without the approval of the ISD’s director.

The other Singaporean released in August, Mohamed Omar Mahadi, was detained under the ISA in August 2016.

Omar and his wife, Dian Faezah Ismail, had planned to take their children and travel to Syria to join and fight alongside ISIS.

Like Shamin, Omar was self-radicalised by online materials and was prepared to die a martyr, the MHA said in 2016.

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The ISD said on Tuesday that Omar was released on a suspension direction. This refers to a ministerial direction to suspend a detention order, with certain conditions.

For instance, Omar is prohibited from associating with any militant or terrorist groups or individuals, and he is not allowed to leave the country without the prior written approval of the ISD’s director.

A suspension direction can be revoked by the MHA and the released individual can be detained again if he or she does not comply with any of the conditions stipulated.

Meanwhile, restriction orders that had been issued against six other Singaporeans were allowed to lapse upon their expiry between June to November, as the six had also “shown good progress in their rehabilitation”, said ISD.

They are Mohamad Rizal Wahid, 41; Shakirah Begam Abdul Wahab, 27; Mohammad Razif Yahya, 33; Muhammad Harith Jailani, 24; Adzrul Azizi Bajuri, 23; and Munavar Baig Amina Begam, 42.

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