SINGAPORE – Two Singaporeans have been issued with orders under the Internal Security Act (ISA), according to a statement released by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on June 20. Muhammad Khairul bin Mohamed, 24 was issued with an Order of Detention (OD) for intending to partake in armed violence overseas. Mohamad Rizal bin Wahid, 36, was issued with a Restriction Order (RO) for supporting Khairul’s intentions.
Read the TL;DR version and main points here: Key takeaways to note regarding the arrest of 2 S’poreans auxilliary police officers
Muhammad Khairul bin Mohamed, 24
Khairul was an Auxiliary Police Officer deployed to the AETOS Traffic Enforcement Division at Woodlands Checkpoint as an unarmed outrider.
He started becoming radicalised in 2012 after gaining an interest in the Syrian conflict, having learnt about it through mainstream media reports. He believed that the conflict was a struggle between the two branches of Islam, the Sunni Islam and Shia Islam. Khairul, a Sunni Muslim, had intended to fight against the Shi’ites in Syria by joining the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
Through continuous exposure to online materials, Khairul eventually thought of the Syrian conflict as a “holy war”, and was ready to die in battle as a “martyr” and receive divine rewards. He reached out via Facebook in 2014 to a foreign militant and two others whom he believed to be FSA supporters, enquiring about how he could travel to Syria.
When arrested in May 2017, Khairul was still interested in joining the FSA or other militant groups operating in Syria to undertake armed violence there.
Mohamad Rizal bin Wahid, 36
Rizal, Khairul’s colleague, was deployed at the Woodlands Checkpoint as an armed officer conducting general security duties. Since 2015, Khairul had confided in Rizal multiple times about wanting to engage in armed violence in Syria.
Instead of alerting the authorities or the AETOS management, Rizal even suggested to Khairul various ways to get to Syria and to die there as a “martyr”.
The MHA would like to remind the public in their statement that there is no place in Singapore for sympathisers who wish to engage in armed conflict, and that it is every citizen’s duty to report any such cases to the authorities, or to be taken to task as well.
While both arrested were AETOS officers, it is important to not paint all officers with the same brush. AETOS officers are integral to the security of our nation and instead, we should provide encouragement for other AETOS officers.
These arrests also serve as a reminder that the threat of terrorism is real, and that we are all vulnerable. The key is to stay vigilant and to look out for one another. In the face of terror, it is important to stay united and preserve our social fabric.
Anyone who knows or suspects that a person is radicalised should notify the Internal Security Department at 1800-2626-473 (1800-2626-ISD).
What is the Order of Detention?
A person issued with an Order of Detention (OD), whether at large or in custody, will be detained for any period not exceeding 12 months in the interests of public safety, peace and good order. The person can also be subjected to police supervision for any period not exceeding three years if necessary.
What is the Restriction Order?
A person issued with a Restriction Order (RO) must abide by several conditions and restrictions. For example, he is not permitted to change his residence or employment, or travel out of Singapore, without the prior approval of the Director ISD. The individual issued with RO also cannot issue public statements, address public meetings or print, distribute, contribute to any publication, hold office in, or be a member of any organisation, association or group without the prior approval of Director ISD.