S'porean man, 50, gave about S$1,000 to ISIS militant, to be charged with financing terrorism

Terrorism financing is a grave threat to domestic and international security. 

Siti Hawa | July 19, 2021, 11:43 AM

A 50-year-old Singaporean man, Mohamed Kazali bin Salleh, was charged in court on July 19, 2021 for providing money for the purpose of facilitating terrorist acts.

Kazali, a businessman based in Malaysia, was arrested by Malaysian Special Branch officers in December 2018, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

He was subsequently deported to Singapore and handed over to the Internal Security Department (ISD) on Jan. 7, 2019.

ISD launched an investigation into his terrorism-related activities.

He was issued an Order of Detention (OD) under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in Jan. 19 for supporting the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Close associate of Syria-based ISIS militant

Kazali was a close associate of Syria-based ISIS militant, Malaysian Wan Mohd Aquil bin Wan Zainal Abidin, also known as Akel Zainal.

Akel Zainal is believed to be the most senior ISIS fighter in Syria before his reported death in March 2019.

Transferred money to militant

The Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force also launched a parallel investigation.

They found that in 2013 and 2014, Kazali had allegedly provided monies amounting to a total of RM1,500 (S$576) and US$351.75 (S$450) over three occasions to Akel.

Kazali had allegedly intended for the funds to be used for the purpose of facilitating terrorist acts in Syria.

Under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act (TSOFA), the act of providing money in support of terrorist purposes, regardless of the amount, is a serious offence.

Held separately if convicted

Should Kazali be convicted, the OD against him will be cancelled, and he will serve the sentence imposed by the court.

To prevent him from spreading his radical ideas to other inmates, Kazali will be held separately during his prison sentence and will continue to go through rehabilitation.

At the end of his sentence, an assessment will determine whether he has been successfully rehabilitated or if he is still a threat to society.

If he remains a threat, Kazali may be detained further under the ISA.

Do not remit money to finance terrorism

MHA said that terrorism and terrorism financing are "grave threats" to domestic and international security and global action is necessary to deprive terrorist groups of funding and materials.

Singapore is doing its part to combat terrorism financing, regardless of whether the monies are being utilised to facilitate terrorist acts locally or abroad, MFA said.

Members of the public are to not remit money of any amount, or provide any support through the provision of services supplies or any material to a terrorist organisation, or for carrying out any terrorist act.

Anyone convicted of the offence of providing property and services for terrorist purposes shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding S$500,000, or both.

Top photo via Getty Images