Country Reports on Terrorism 2007 - Singapore

Singapore continued its bilateral and multilateral intelligence and law enforcement cooperation to investigate terrorist groups with a focus on Jemaah Islamiya (JI). In June, Singapore announced that it had detained, under the Internal Security Act (ISA), a "self-radicalized" (i.e., through the Internet) Muslim attorney who had traveled abroad in an effort to join an extremist group and fight alongside the Taliban. Also in June, Singapore announced the detention of four suspected JI members who had fled Singapore in 2001 following the arrest of other JI members by the Internal Security Department (ISD).

As of November, Singapore held in detention 32 people with links to terrorist groups. Detainees included members of JI who had plotted to carry out attacks in Singapore in the past 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, to develop teachings to counter the group's spread within Singapore's Muslim community, and to provide counseling to detainees.

Singapore adopted revised regulations and guidelines for banks, other financial institutions, and non-financial businesses and professions that for the first time prescribed measures in accordance with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations for countering the financing of terrorism (CFT.) The government moved to implement regulations to require inbound and outbound travelers to report cash and cash-equivalent instruments of greater than $20,700 (S$30,000). In October, Parliament approved the Terrorism (Suppression of Bombings) Act, which gives effect to the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings.

In March, Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security signed a Science and Technology Agreement to provide a framework to expand cooperation and carry out collaborative projects to enhance border security. After endorsing the Secure Freight Initiative (SFI) in December 2006, Singapore agreed in 2007 to participate in the Phase I deployment of SFI to improve the scanning of maritime container cargo, which will leverage Singapore's participation in the Container Security Initiative (CSI) and the Megaports Initiative.

Singaporean officials took strong measures to enhance maritime security in nearby waters, especially the Strait of Malacca, which included 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. In March, Singapore broke ground on construction of the Changi Command and Control Centre, which will enhance Singapore's maritime security capabilities by co-locating the interagency Singapore Maritime Security Centre, the Information Fusion Centre, and the Multinational Operations and Exercises Centre.

In September, Singapore hosted the third and final International Maritime Organization (IMO)-sponsored meeting on "The Straits of Malacca and Singapore: Enhancing Safety, Security and Environmental Protection." Delegates from the three littoral states and 35 other countries and 16 international observer organizations and NGOs attended the conference. 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 Republic of Singapore Navy and Police Coast Guard worked closely on measures to secure the Singapore Strait and port from a maritime terrorist attack.

Singapore actively participated in counterterrorism efforts through various international fora, including the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and continued to take part in the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), including the "Pacific Shield 07" exercise hosted by Japan. The Singaporean authorities regularly conducted emergency exercise drills to prepare for a potential terrorist attack in the country, bringing together relevant government agencies and civil society organizations.


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