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51 year-old Singaporean arrested after attempting to join ISIS

He had travelled to Turkey in hopes of reaching Syria but was detained by local authorities.

PHOTO: REX USA

SINGAPORE – Mustafa Sultan Ali was arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for attempting to join the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on July 28 (2015).

The 51 year-old had left Singapore late May 2015 for an unnamed regional country before flying to Turkey. He intended to cross into Syria from the Turkish border. He had taken that travel route in the hopes of hiding his tracks.

However, he was detained by Turkish authorities and deported to Singapore in June 2015. Mustafa was subsequently issued a two-year Order of Detention in July. MHA told CNA that investigations revealed that Mustafa became radicalised through various online materials, and had wanted to go to Syria to “participate in armed violence by fighting alongside ISIS”. He was also ready to partake in terrorist attacks against Western establishments in Singapore.


“The Government takes a very serious view of any form of support for terrorism, including but not limited to the use of violence, and will take firm and decisive action against any person who engages in such activities.”

– Ministry of Home Affairs

Mustafa’s case is not the first in Singapore. In May 2015, 19 year-old M. Arifil Azim Putra Norja’l was detained for joining terrorism-related activities and for intending to execute terrorist attacks in Singapore. Another unnamed, radicalised, 17-year old Singaporean was also arrested under the ISA in May and later placed on a Restriction Order for two years.

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