Overview: In 2014, Singapore and the United States expanded counterterrorism cooperation, including increased information sharing on known and suspected terrorists. U.S. agencies welcomed the closer engagement and continued to see the potential for more strategic and productive agency-to-agency relationships. In November, Singapore announced it would contribute to the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, declaring that contribution an integral part of its ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, and pledged staff and midair refueling assets to the Coalition. Singapore seeks to actively prevent foreign terrorist fighters from traveling to Syria and Iraq, and has detained Singaporean residents attempting to do so. The government and Muslim community organizations, such as the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore and the Religious Rehabilitation Group, actively promoted tolerance and provided a counter-narrative to violent extremists.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Singapore uses its Internal Security Act (ISA) to arrest and detain suspected terrorists without trial. The ISA authorizes the Minister for Home Affairs (MHA), with the consent of the president, to order detention without judicial review 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 MHA may renew the detention for an unlimited number of additional periods up to two years at a time with the president's consent. Singapore's existing legal framework, in conjunction with the ISA, provides the government the necessary tools to support the investigation and prosecution of terrorism offenses. Law enforcement agencies displayed coordination, command, and control in responding to threat information affecting Singapore's security.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Singapore is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, a FATF-style regional body. In 2014, Singapore tightened currency reporting requirements, lowering the threshold for currency declarations when bringing in or taking cash out of the country from US $22,200 to US $14,800. The Monetary Authority of Singapore also commenced consultations in 2014 on revised regulations to strengthen the anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism framework for financial institutions to bring it in line with the FATF's revised recommendations of February 2012. Singapore's robust financial regulatory framework makes terrorist financing illegal and the government, in cooperation with the financial services industry, remains vigilant against this threat. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: Singapore is an active participant in counterterrorism cooperation efforts in ASEAN, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and APEC; has supported UN Security Council Resolutions condemning terrorist activities – including co-sponsoring UNSCR 2178; and announced at the 2014 East Asia Summit that it will host a regional conference on countering violent extremism. Singapore participates in regional exercises, which occasionally have counterterrorism components.

Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: Singapore's efforts to prevent youth radicalization focus on education and outreach efforts. The government also encourages interreligious and interethnic dialogue through Interracial and Religious Confidence Circles, community forums that bring leaders from Singapore's religious and ethnic communities together to discuss issues of concern, and build trust. The government has highlighted opportunities for constructive engagement for those concerned with the conflict in Syria and Iraq, such as promoting legitimate charities working to ease suffering in conflict zones.

Singapore's Islamic Religious Council of Singapore maintains a Facebook presence and holds outreach and education events to counter terrorist propaganda and recruitment efforts.

Singapore's Religious Rehabilitation Group, a volunteer organization, has had success in counseling detainees held under the ISA. The comprehensive program includes religious and psychological counseling, and involves the detainee's family and community.


This 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.