Singapore continued its strong bilateral and multilateral counterterrorism intelligence and law enforcement cooperation. Since December 2001, more than 50 persons with links to terrorist groups were detained under Singapore's Internal Security Act (ISA) for involvement in terrorist-related activities. At year's end, Singapore held in detention 17 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).
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, which would continue after their release. As of December, a total of 47 persons remained under Restriction Orders (RO). Detainees released on ROs were monitored by the Singapore authorities and required to report to authorities on a regular basis. Singapore authorities determined that all 47 persons released on ROs had cooperated in investigations and responded positively to rehabilitation, including religious counseling. Among those subjected to religious rehabilitation, there are no reported cases of recidivism to date.
In April, Mas Selamat Kastari, the Singapore leader of JI, was recaptured by Malaysian authorities in Johor, Malaysia. Kastari had been a fugitive since his escape from detention in Singapore in February 2008. Kastari remains in Malaysian custody. In June, Indonesian authorities captured two Singaporean JI fugitives, Husaini Ismail and Samad Subari. Husaini was one of five Singaporean JI members involved in a failed 2002 plot to hijack a commercial airliner and crash it into Singapore's Changi International Airport. All five JI members involved in the plot are now in custody, with two in Singapore, one in Malaysia and two in Indonesia.
When Singapore held its annual counterterrorism exercise, Northstar VII, in July, the exercise simulated a series of coordinated, simultaneous Mumbai-style terrorist attacks on hotels and infrastructure in multiple locations. More than 2,000 personnel from 15 civilian and military organizations participated in the exercise, including the Special Operations Task Force, the Ministry of Defense, the Singapore Police Force, the Singapore Civil Defense Force, the Maritime and Port Authority, and the Ministry of Transportation.
Singapore hosted the Proliferation Security Initiative Exercise Deep Sabre II in October. Approximately 2,000 personnel from 21 countries participated, representing military, diplomatic, legal, customs, immigration, police, and civil defense agencies. The exercise demonstrated Singapore's multi-layered, multi-agency commitment to deny terrorists the ability to move people or materials in Singapore. Authorities made extensive use of advanced biometrics to verify the identity of all individuals arriving into Singapore.
The Republic of Singapore Navy participated in the annual bilateral exercise "Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training" with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, and also the multilateral "South East Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism" drill. Singapore also conducted its own internal, annual exercise "APEX," which tested the government's multi-agency response to a maritime terrorism incident.
Singapore contributed to the international community's efforts in Afghanistan, including military personnel supporting a weapons locating radar unit, a medical team, and an engineering team. Singapore was also involved in training Afghan civilians in various capacities, including health care, civil aviation, and water/waste management.