Radicalised Malaysian in S’pore arrested under the ISA, repatriated back to M’sia by MHA
The 33-year-old intended to travel to Syria or Palestine to take part in the armed conflict there.
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A 33-year-old Malaysian man, who had been radicalised by online teachings of extremist Islamic preachers, has been arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA), according to a press release from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Feb. 9.
Muhammad Nur Hanief bin Abdul Jalil had been actively consuming online materials of foreign radical preachers since 2008, including Imran Hosein, Zakir Naik and Anjem Choudary.
He was also influenced by Ismail Menk and Haslin bin Baharim, who were banned from entering Singapore in Oct. 30, 2017 for spreading segregationist and divisive teachings.
Planned to fight in Syria
In late-2017, Hanief made up his mind to travel to Syria or Palestine and take part in the armed conflicts there, after suffering setbacks in his professional and personal life.
He was an equal-opportunity recruit, willing to join any armed group including ISIS, the Free Syrian Army (Note: These two groups have fought each other in the past), and the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (previously known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham / Jabhat al-Nusra).
Hanief contacted Haslin, the Malaysian preacher, and asked for his advice on whether he would become a martyr if he was killed while fighting in Syria.
Haslin said that it was God’s will if one should die as a martyr, which Hanief interpreted as an affirmative reply.
Access to restricted area
Aside from his radical beliefs, Hanief posed a unique threat as he was working as a driver for a local airfreight company.
In this role, he had access to Changi Airfreight Centre. The Centre provides airfreight services for Changi Airport, and is a restricted area.
Hanief has held various jobs in Singapore since 2011. Although investigations did not uncover any indications that he tried to radicalise others or that he was planning a terrorist attack in Singapore, MHA assessed that his radicalisation made him a security threat to Singapore.
His Work Pass was cancelled, and he was repatriated to Malaysia in Feb. 2018.
According to Today Online, the Malaysian police have taken Hanief into custody, and he is being detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 for further investigation.
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Top image from Pixabay.