Last Updated: Thursday, 31 July 2014, 17:47 GMT

Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Singapore

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Publication Date 30 April 2009
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Singapore, 30 April 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/49fac687c.html [accessed 2 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Singaporean officials took strong measures to enhance maritime security in nearby waters, especially the Strait of Malacca, including countering terrorist threats, piracy, and other criminal attacks. The three littoral states – Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore – continued their surface, naval, and air patrols in and over the Strait of Malacca. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) continued construction of the Changi C2 Centre, which will house a multi-agency Port Operations and Control Centre, a Multinational Operations and Exercises Centre, and an Information Fusion Centre, the latter to be staffed with International Liaison Officers. The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre (ISC) continued its operations, connecting 14 governments in Asia to enhance piracy-related information sharing.

The RSN participated in the annual bilateral exercise "Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training" with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, and the multilateral "South East Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism" (SEACAT) exercise. Singapore conducted its own internal, annual exercise, APEX, which tested the government's interagency response to a maritime terrorism incident.

As of December, Singapore-held detainees included members of JI who in 2001 and 2002 had plotted to carry out attacks in Singapore, and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Under detention orders, the detainees were required to undergo a program of religious counseling with a group of volunteer religious counselors. Singapore enlisted the support of religious teachers and scholars to study JI's ideology, develop teachings to counter the group's spread within Singapore's Muslim community, and provide counseling to detainees. One JI detainee was released on a Restriction Order (RO) in February; and five JI members were released on ROs in September. Singapore authorities determined that the released detainees had cooperated in Singaporean security investigations and responded positively to rehabilitation, including religious counseling. One person with links to terrorist groups was newly detained in 2008. The recidivism rates among detainees released in Singapore is unknown.

In February, Mas Selemat Kastari, the Singapore leader of JI, escaped from detention. Despite a massive manhunt, the Singapore authorities failed to locate and re-capture Kastari, who had reportedly escaped by climbing out of a restroom window located in a meeting area of the detention center.

In February, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published the results of its review of Singapore's anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing regime, finding it compliant or largely compliant with most of the FATF's recommendations. The evaluation noted that Singapore had improved feedback to financial institutions, enhanced supervisory oversight and stepped up training. However, concerns remained over the effectiveness of Singapore's money laundering regulations and new system for declaring cross-border transactions. In December, the government amended the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act to allow the government to respond to requests for extradition from Parties to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, even in the absence of an extradition treaty, for all terrorism financing offenses.

In September, Singapore cooperated with U.S. authorities to investigate and subsequently apprehend a Singapore suspect who had allegedly sent terrorist threats by e-mail to several airlines and embassies around the world.

In June, the United States and Singapore signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to strengthen ongoing collaboration on aviation security. In August, the United States and Singapore signed a host country Memorandum of Understanding concerning challenge inspections under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Singapore has been a signatory to the CWC since 1997.

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