The black handcuffs on wooden background. criminal justice (Photo by Spaxiax from Shutterstock.com).

First Singaporean woman imprisoned under ISA for radicalism released with restrictions

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced on Tuesday (25 June) that Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari, who was the first woman imprisoned under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in Singapore, has been released.

The 24-year-old woman was first detained in 2017 after she was caught actively posting and sharing pro-Islamic State material online.

Izzah, who was the former infant-care assistant with the PAP Community Foundation Sparkletots pre-school programme, also showed interest in joining Islamic State and was seriously planning to travel to Syria with her young child, back then.

It appears that her radicalisation began in 2013 through online propaganda related to the Islamic State terrorist group.

“She began to believe that ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) represented the true spirit of Islam. Her radicalisation deepened over time. This was exacerbated by a wide network of foreign online contacts which she developed. They included ISIS militants and supporters, some of whom have either been killed in Syria or arrested for terrorism-related activities,” MHA said in its statement two years ago.

In Tuesday’s statement, MHA said that her release comes with restrictions when her Order of Detention (OD) expired in June.

She was one of the four Singaporean ISA prisoners who has “shown good progress in their rehabilitation” and had been “assessed to no longer pose a security threat that require preventive detention”, said MHA.

As for the remaining three detainees who were also released, they are Abd Rahim Abdul Rahman, Asyrani Hussaini and Muhammad Khairul Mohamed.

It is said that Abd Rahim’s imprisonment was suspended with a Suspension Direction in March, while both Asyrani and Khairul were released on a Restriction Order (RO) when their detention expired in March and June, respectively.

Besides that, MHA also noted in its statement that a 40-year-old Singaporean was also issued with ROs in March this year. The food deliveryman and a production technician, was first taken into custody in January under ISA after investigations revealed that he was radicalised and possessed the interest to travel to Syria to join Islamic State.