SINGAPORE – SMRT Feedback, Singapore’s top online vigilante group has revealed to Observer+ more incriminating photos of Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari today (June 14). This comes after the 22-year-old infant care assistant was arrested on Monday (June 12) for planning to join ISIS in Syria.
SMRT Feedback had previously on June 12, released intimate photos and videos of Izzah.
SMRT Feedback said in an email interview with Observer+ today (Jun 14):
“Izzah is a single mother with a very young child. To protect the child’s identity, we will not disclose her social accounts, or give further details about her daughter.”
When queried about what kind of photos and videos were in their possession, SMRT Feedback said, “The redacted materials show Izzah as a loving mom who is very close to her sisters. From birthday celebrations to general family get-togethers, Izzah seems to have a pretty tight-knit family with no indication of her radicalisation.”
“Things took a turn sometime in early 2015 when Izzah followed suspected ISIS militants in a Russian social networking site. Most of the accounts she followed or have interacted with have since been taken down. What’s interesting is that the bulk of her followers were Arab males. According to comments and interactions, it was as though Izzah was looking for someone to confide in,” said SMRT Feedback.
The Vigilanteh added, “Her online activities suggests that she is emotionally-wrecked… which is ripe for someone her age to be psycho-fucked and brainwashed.”
Dr Rohan Gunaratna, professor of security studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University, said, “The age of terrorism is becoming younger. With terrorist mastery of cyberspace, impressionable children and teenagers will be influenced by terrorist propaganda.”
“Increasingly, the world will witness more youth, teenagers and even children radicalised and joining terrorist groups.”
Dr Rohan is also the head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR).
Dr Mohamed Ali, vice-president of the Religious Rehabilitation Group, said the strength of ISIS lies not in its resources or territories but how it uses religion and broadcasts messages, recruiting through the Internet.
“The group’s use of online media will result in more youth being influenced, because the youth are the ones who use it the most,” said Dr Mohamed.
Following Izzah’s arrest, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Monday (June 12) they were looking into taking action against one of her family members who destroyed incriminating evidence relating to Izzah’s plans to join ISIS in Syria. While her family unsuccessfully tried to dissuade her, they did not bring her to the attention of the authorities when she was younger, which could potentially have turned her back from the path of radicalisation, said MHA.
“The Government takes a serious view of the withholding of information that is pertinent to the safety and security of Singapore and Singaporeans,” said the MHA.
“This is especially so if the failure to report leads to violent activities that would kill or cause harm to others.”
A family member destroyed important evidence relating to her plans to join ISIS in an attempt to minimise her acts, MHA said. It added that Izzah’s family did not support her actions, nor did they share the same radical ideas.
“Terrorist ideology should be likened to deviant teachings, and must be reported to the authorities so that its influence can be curbed and the individuals involved rehabilitated,” a group of Islamic religious teachers in Singapore said in a statement in Malay yesterday (June 13).
“As part of a multi-racial society in Singapore, we need to be aware that our actions have implications on other communities,” it added. “This case is bound to cause unease and anxiety among them. They may become suspicious of Muslims, especially Muslim women who deal directly with the general public.”
The call-to-action was made by seven ustaz, or Islamic religious leaders.
CRIME PCF Centre and radicalised childcare teacher identified by SMRT Feedback
22-year-old Singaporean childcare teacher detained for making plans to marry into ISIS
Radicalised infant care assistant had no ‘alone’ time with kids under her care
Intimate photos of S’porean woman detained for radicalism revealed by SMRT Feedback