A 35-year-old Singaporean man was charged in Court on Monday (15 April) for providing money to support ISIS’ propaganda efforts for terrorist purposes, an offence under section 4(b) of the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act, Chapter 325.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) stated in a press release that Imran Kassim, a managing director of a logistics company, has been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) since August 2017.
The ministry said that he had been investigated by the Internal Security Department and issued with a Detention Order (DO) for intending to undertake armed violence overseas.
According to the ministry, a parallel investigation by the Commercial Affairs Department also found that Imran had provided money amounting to $450 to an individual in Turkey on 31 October 2014 for the publication of ISIS propaganda.
This act of providing money in support of terrorist purposes is a serious offence, regardless of the amount, under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act, said the ministry.
If Imran is convicted, the DO against him will be cancelled, and he will serve the imprisonment term imposed by the Court.
However, the ministry noted that he will be held separately to prevent him from spreading his radical ideas to other inmates and will continue to undergo rehabilitation whilst serving his prison sentence.
He will also face an assessment at the end of his sentence whether he has been successfully rehabilitated or remains a threat to society. If he remains a threat, he may be detained further under the ISA.
According to MHA, Imran was radicalised by IS propaganda in 2017. The man admitted that he was prepared to attack Singapore Armed Forces personnel deployed in the global coalition to fight IS or hold them hostages to demand ransom from the Singapore Government and use the money to boost the militant group’s finances.
The ministry also said that he had also tried to join IS in Syria on at least two occasions.
MHA states that Imran travelled to Syria in February 2014 to oversee the delivery of humanitarian aid to a refugee camp that was arranged by the logistics company he worked for. At that time, he tried to slip away from his hosts at the refugee camp. However, he failed to do so.
The man then allegedly contacted a pro-IS foreign contact in March 2015 to facilitate his entry into Syria to join the militant group, however, there was no response to his request.
Imran also used his social media to evoke support for IS, as well as trying to influence his friends with radical views.
MHA stated that action is being taken to deprive terrorist groups of funding and materials globally.
The Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) has been at the forefront of driving the development and implementation of measures to counter the financing of terrorism, which includes ensuring that countries actively pursue terrorist financing to disrupt such activities, developing a global understanding of the risks associated with terrorist financing, and providing the necessary tools to combat the risks effectively.
As an active member of the FATF, the ministry stressed that Singapore fully subscribes to the FATF standards and the regime that the country has put in place to combat terrorist financing is in line with the standards.
The ministry reminds members of the public not to remit money, of any amount, or provide any support through the provision of services, supplies or any material to a terrorist organisation or any member of a terrorist group.
Anyone convicted of the offence of providing property and services for terrorist purposes shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $500,000, or both.