A Singaporean businessman was charged on Monday, with providing about S$1,000 to an Islamic State (IS) militant for facilitating terrorist operations in Syria.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced that 50-year-old Mohamed Kazali Salleh was arrested by Malaysian Special Branch officers in December 2018.
He was then deported to Singapore and handed to the Internal Security Department in January 2019 for investigations into his terrorism-related activities, reported Singapore newspaper Today.
Kazali was also subject to a detention order under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for his support of IS.
He is accused of giving a total of about S$1,000 over three occasions to Syria-based Islamic State militant Malaysian Wan Mohd Aquil Wan Zainal Abidin, known as Akel, who is “believed to have been the most senior IS fighter in Syria” prior to his reported death in March 2019, said MHA.
A parallel investigation by the police Commercial Affairs Department found that in 2013 and 2014, Kazali allegedly provided sums of money over three occasions to Akel Zainal.
The funds were purportedly intended for facilitating terrorist acts in Syria, said MHA.
“The act of providing money in support of terrorist purposes, regardless of the amount, is a serious offence under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act,” said MHA.
If convicted, the detention order against Kazali will be cancelled and he will serve the sentence imposed by the court.
“To prevent him from spreading his radical ideas to other inmates, he will be held separately, and will continue to undergo rehabilitation whilst serving his prison sentence,” said the ministry.
“An assessment will be made at the end of his sentence whether he has been successfully rehabilitated or remains a threat to society. If he remains a threat, he may be detained further under the ISA.”
The ISA is a statute that grants the executive power to enforce preventive detention, prevent subversion, suppress organised violence against persons and property, and do other things incidental to the internal security of Singapore.
In June, a Singaporean housewife was detained under the ISA after an “escalation” in her radical behaviour. Her husband, Malaysian Mohd Firdaus Kamal Intdzam, was arrested and repatriated from Singapore in August last year for supporting the IS militant group.
The housewife, Ruqayyah Ramliwas had been previously issued with a restriction order after she was found to have been radicalised by her husband, reported CNA. She supported IS’ violent actions and believed in the use of violence against the perceived enemies of Islam.
“Terrorism and terrorism financing are grave threats to domestic and international security, and global action is required to deprive terrorist groups of funding and materials,” said the ministry.
“Singapore is part of this global effort and is strongly committed to combatting terrorism financing, regardless of whether the monies are used to facilitate terrorist acts locally or abroad.”