SINGAPORE – An infant care assistant with childcare centre PCF (PAP Community Foundation) Sparkletots has been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in June 2017 today (Jun 12).
Singaporean Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari, 22, the first known female to be arrested in Singapore for radicalism, had made plans to marry and settle down with an ISIS supporter in Syria.
While she was an infant care assistant, it is noted that she had no ‘alone’ time with the kids she was caring for.
Izzah was self-radicalised since 2013 by online ISIS propaganda. She supported “ISIS’s use of violence to establish and defend its self-declared “caliphate”, and aspired to live in it”, according to MHA.
Over a period of 4 years, she had developed a wide network of online contacts with foreign individuals, including ISIS militants and supporters, some of whom have either been killed in Syria or arrested for terrorism-related activities.
Since 2014, Izzah actively posted and shared pro-ISIS materials online. Several of her social media platforms were removed by administrators because of such content, but she created new ones. She also boasted to a contact in April this year (2017) that the authorities here had not detected her.
According to MHA, her parents (both freelance religious teachers) and sister came to know of her radical postings in 2015 and her intention to join ISIS in Syria but did not alert the authorities, said the MHA. Although they tried on their own to dissuade her but they were unsuccessful.
It was pointed out that when Izzah was being investigated, “important evidence was destroyed by a family member relating to her plans to join ISIS, in order to try to minimise her acts”.
It is not known if the family will be charged.
Early reporting could enable the individual who is at risk of becoming radicalised to be given proper guidance and counselling. They could be steered away from the path of radicalisation and may not need to be severely dealt with under the law.
Anyone who knows or suspects that a person is radicalised should promptly call the ISD Counter-Terrorism Centre hotline 1800-2626-473 (1800-2626-ISD).