Bangaldeshi man arrested in Singapore for plotting attacks against Hindus, planning to fight in Kashmir

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Singapore: A Bangladeshi man, who was plotting attacks against Hindus in his own country and planning to fight in Kashmir, has been arrested by Singapore’s security agencies which investigated the suspicious activities of 37 people as part of the heightened security measures in the city-state following recent terror strikes in Europe, the government said Tuesday.

In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that counter-terrorism investigations into the suspicious activities of 37 people in this city have been carried out after most of them posted on social media, inciting violence or stoking community unrest in the aftermath of the terror attacks in France. Of the 37 people, 14 are Singaporeans and 23 foreigners, mostly Bangladeshis, the ministry said.

“The 14 Singaporeans comprise 10 males and four females, and are aged between 19 and 62 years old. Most of them had, in response to the recent terror attacks in France, made social media postings which incited violence or stoked communal unrest,” the ministry said.

As for the 23 foreigners, 16 of them, including 15 Bangladeshis and one Malaysian have been repatriated, it said. Seven foreigners are still under investigation, it added.

One Bangladeshi man under investigation – identified as 26-year-old Ahmed Faysal – has been arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) following investigations into ‘terrorism-related activities’, the ministry said. He even bought foldable knives, which he claimed he would use for attacks against Hindus in Bangladesh, it said, adding that he was also willing to travel to Kashmir to fight against ‘perceived enemies of Islam’.

Preliminary investigations by the Internal Security Department (ISD) showed that Faysal was radicalised and harboured the intention to ‘undertake armed violence in support of his religion’, ‘Channel News Asia’ reported, citing the statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Faysal had been working as a construction worker in Singapore since early 2017. He became radicalised in 2018 after ‘imbibing online propaganda on Islamic State (IS),” the statement said. He was arrested on November 2.

“He was attracted to IS’ goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate in Syria and wanted to travel there to fight alongside IS against the Syrian government. He believed that he would be a martyr if he died while doing so,” the statement said.

In mid-2019, Faysal shifted his allegiance to Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), another militant group fighting to establish an Islamic caliphate in Syria. “He donated funds to a Syria-based organisation on the understanding that his donations would benefit the HTS’ cause in Syria,” the ministry said. “Faysal also actively shared propaganda promoting armed violence on social media accounts created under fictitious names,” the ministry informed.