Devil in the Details on Self-Radicalisation
Some previously detained under the ISA for terrorism charges were released. But the jihad militant blight does not go away easily. After the case of the lawyer last year, the Internet is again insinuated as one source of instigation, turning Singaporeans into militants. To think that the Internet itself made some local Muslims “self-radicalised” is a tad too simplistic for my taste. There must have been other factors that pushed them over the edge, assuming that the authorities paid due diligence in proving that those detained were really threats to Singapore. Perhaps these factors were not disclosed fully for national security reasons. Perhaps not. Nonetheless, the phenomenon of radicalisation creep is happening all over the world and it is here for real now whatever the cynics say.
SINGAPORE, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Singapore has freed five Islamic militants belonging to the al Qaeda-linked group Jemaah Islamiah (JI) and one member of the Philippines’ separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the government said on Thursday.
The Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement that it has also detained two “self-radicalised” men and has placed another on restriction orders, under which his movements would be monitored for posing “potential terrorist threat”.
The five members of the Southeast Asian militant group JI and the Singaporean MILF member, detained between 2002 and 2005 under the city-state’s Internal Security Act, were released between December and January, the statement said.
It was not clear from the statement if the five JI members were Singapore nationals and the ministry was not immediately available to comment.
The ministry said in the statement the men “had cooperated in investigations and responded positively to rehabilitation which included religious counselling”.
The Internal Security Act allows authorities to hold suspects without trial and without immediate public notice of the arrests.
JI has been blamed for several deadly attacks in Southeast Asia, including the 2002 bombings that killed more than 200 people on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali.
Singapore, a strong U.S. ally and a major base for Western businesses, sees itself as a prime terrorist target in the region after it foiled JI plots in 2001 to attack its airport and various Western-linked sites, including the U.S. embassy.
Last week a Canadian, Mohammed Mansour Jabarah, who admitted plotting to bomb U.S. embassies in Singapore and the Philippines, was sentenced to life in prison in Canada.
Prosecutors said Jabarah was a liaison between al Qaeda and the JI network. (Reporting by Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Ovais Subhani)