Singapore: Radical Bangladeshi Arrested As He Planned To Carry Out Armed Jihad Against Hindus

Singapore: Radical Bangladeshi Arrested As He Planned To Carry Out Armed Jihad Against HindusRepresentative image of an ISIS fighter with the group’s flag.

A Bangladeshi youth who bought knives in Singapore to use for attacks on Hindus in his country, has been arrested in the southeast Asian city state, a statement said.

Ahmad Faysal, 26, was arrested under the Internal Security Act on 2 November, following investigations into "terrorism-related activities", said Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs in a press release on Tuesday.

He told the police that he watched firearms-related videos online to prepare himself for armed jihad, it said.

According to the statement, Singapore's security agencies were in a state of heightened alert since early September following terrorist attacks in France and elsewhere, and investigations into the activities of 37 people in Singapore were carried out under this. Faysal was among these 37.

Apart from the IS, Faysal also expressed support for other terrorist groups including Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab. He was also willing to travel to Kashmir to fight against "perceived enemies of Islam", the statement said.

Preliminary investigations by the Internal Security Department showed that Faysal, who had been working as a construction labour in Singapore since early 2017, was radicalised in 2018 after imbibing online propaganda on ISIS.

"He was attracted to ISIS' goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate in Syria and wanted to travel there to fight alongside ISIS against the Syrian government. He believed that he would be a martyr if he died while doing so," the ministry added.

In mid-2019, Faysal shifted his allegiance to Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), another militant group fighting to establish an Islamic caliphate in Syria.

"He donated funds to a Syria-based organisation on the understanding that his donations would benefit the HTS' cause in Syria," said MHA.

"Faysal also actively shared propaganda promoting armed violence on social media accounts created under fictitious names."

He was proficient in English and adept at using social media, actively disseminating propaganda, in a mix of English and Bengali, which featured the "oppression of Muslims overseas" and promoted armed violence.

Faysal would translate some content that he found online into Bengali, and post this on his social media accounts, to "encourage other Bangladeshi Muslims" to take part in armed jihad.

He lived in a dormitory and is "not known to have interacted much" with other residents, according to Singaporean authorities.

"Beyond his social media activities, there is no information that Faysal had tried to influence his colleagues, dormitory mates or anyone else in Singapore with his radical views; it appears that none of them were aware of Faysal's radicalisation," an official said.

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