S'porean man charged with sending money to support overseas terrorism

He had also wanted to fight for ISIS.

Andrew Koay | September 16, 2019, 07:04 PM

A 34-year-old Singaporean man was charged in court on Sep. 16 for providing money for terrorist purposes.

The charge came after an investigation by the Commercial Affairs Department found that Ahmed Hussein had provided S$1,059 and US$62 (S$86) on July 26, 2016, and Sep. 3, 2016, respectively to an individual overseas who was facilitating terrorist acts.

Detained since August 2018

Hussein had already been in detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA) since August 2018.

At the time, investigations showed that he was radicalised and wanted to undertake armed violence in Syria in support of the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Should he be convicted, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that Hussein's order of detention from August 2018 will be cancelled and he will instead serve an imprisonment term imposed by the court.

MHA added that Hussien will be held separately to prevent him from radicalising other inmates.

He will also have to undergo rehabilitation whilst serving his prison sentence.

At the end of his sentence, Hussein will have to undergo an assessment to determine the success of his rehabilitation.

According to MHA, if he remains a threat, he may be detained further under the ISA.

Journey towards radicalisation

At the time of his initial arrest, MHA said that Hussien's radicalisation had begun when he started searching the internet for religious knowledge in 2013:

"Among other things, he followed the lectures of foreign radical ideologues, such as Anwar al-Awlaki (the deceased Al-Qaeda ideologue) and several others who have been arrested or imprisoned for inciting violence or espousing support for terrorism."

Hussien's radicalisation came to a head when he started to believe that violence in the name of religion was justifiable.

By late-2016 he was set on fighting and dying as a martyr for ISIS in its self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

Additionally, Hussien kept regular contact with foreign pro-ISIS individuals on social media to get updates on ISIS-related developments.

He had also attempted to radicalise other foreign individuals online in an effort to convince them to support ISIS.

Global effort

"Terrorism and its financing represent a grave threat to domestic and international security, and global action is required to deprive terrorist groups of funding and materials," said MHA.

"Singapore is part of this global effort and is strongly committed to combating terrorism financing, regardless of whether the monies are used to facilitate terrorist purposes locally or abroad."

Providing money for terrorist purposes is an offence under section 4(a) of the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act, Chapter 325.

A conviction carries a sentence of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding S$500,000, or both.

Top image from Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images.