Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2017, 12:06 GMT

Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - Singapore

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 18 August 2011
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - Singapore, 18 August 2011, available at: [accessed 15 December 2017]
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.

Overview: Singapore continued its strong bilateral and multilateral counterterrorism intelligence and law enforcement cooperation. As of December, Singapore held in detention 15 persons with links to terrorist groups. Detainees included members of Jemaah Islamiya (JI) who had plotted to carry out attacks in Singapore in the past and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Singapore released 48 persons on Restriction Orders (RO) and two on Suspension Direction (SD); detainees released on ROs and SDs were monitored by the Singapore authorities and required to report to authorities on a regular basis. Among those subjected to religious rehabilitation, there are no reported cases of recidivism to date.

Law Enforcement and Prosecutions: Singapore used its Internal Security Act (ISA) to arrest and detain suspected terrorists without trial. The ISA authorizes the minister for home affairs, with the consent of the president, to order detention without filing charges if it is determined that a person poses a threat to national security. The initial detention may be for up to two years, and the minister for home affairs may renew the detention for an unlimited number of additional periods of up to two years at a time with the president's consent.

In August, Singapore passed the Hostage Taking Act 2010, which gives effect to the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages.

Singapore's law enforcement actions included:

  • In January, Singapore detained JI and MILF member Mohammed Azmi Ali for terrorist activities and placed him in detention under Singapore's Internal Security Act (ISA). Azmi had originally fled Singapore in 2001 following the government's crackdown on JI.

  • In February, Singapore released self-radicalized detainee Abdul Basheer Abdul Kader under SD. The government had originally detained Basheer in April 2007 after he had made plans to go to Afghanistan to engage in militant activities.

  • In July, Singapore placed Muhammad Anwar Jailani and Muhammad Thahir Shaik Dawood directly on to RO. Both Jailani and Thahir had links to Anwar al-Aulaqi. According to press reports, Thahir had gone to Yemen to seek out al-Aulaqi to engage in militant activities outside of Singapore. He also enrolled in an educational institution run by an associate of Usama bin Ladin.

  • Also in July, Singapore announced the detention of soldier Muhammad Fadil Abdul Hamid under Singapore's Internal Security Act. The government announced that Fadil had become self-radicalized and had made contact with al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula operative Anwar al-Aulaqi, who encouraged him to go to Afghanistan to engage in militant activities. Authorities arrested Fadil before he could depart Singapore.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Singapore cooperated with the United States to identify and freeze terrorist assets. The opening of Singapore's two casinos in 2010 increased concerns about the potential for illicit flows to pass through Singapore. Singapore has implemented legal and regulatory changes involving cash transactions at casinos to better align itself with the international standards for anti-money laundering/counterterrorist financing regimes.

Regional and International Cooperation: In June, the Republic of Singapore Navy participated in the annual Southeast Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism exercise. In November, the Singapore Armed Forces participated in Cooperation 2010, a nine-day joint counterterrorism training exercise with a personnel contingent from China's People's Liberation Army.

Countering Radicalization and Extremism: Singapore maintained a de-radicalization program that focused on countering detainees' extremist ideology. Detainees are required to undergo a program of religious counseling with a group of volunteer religious counselors. Singapore enlists the support of religious teachers and scholars to study JI's ideology to develop teachings to counter the group within Singapore's Muslim community and provide counseling to detainees. Religious counseling for detainees continued after release from detention. Among those individuals released from detention, there were no reported cases of recidivism.

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