SINGAPORE: The Internal Security Department (ISD) has revealed that the Internal Security Act (ISA) has been used against 11 self-radicalized Singaporean youth since 2015, on the back of news that a 15-year-old was detained under the ISA, earlier this week.
It added that “several” of the youngsters, all of whom are under 20, were reported by members of the public.
Responding to a series of questions by Channel NewsAsia, the ISD said that the first case of youth self-radicalisation came to light in April 2015 when a 19-year-old unsuccessfully tried to recruit others to join a plan to carry out violent attacks in public.
While the people the 19-year-old tried to recruit “did not alert the authorities,” the ISD said: “Fortunately, another person who knew the youth noticed the changes in him, and reported him to the authorities, who were then able to investigate and intervene before he could carry out his attacks.”
Two other teens, both 17 at the time they were issued ISA orders, were reported to the authorities by individuals who were worried about the pro-Islamic State content on their social media accounts. ISD’s probe revealed that they had indeed been radicalized and supported the extremist agenda of the Islamic State terror group.
The ISD has urged all members of society to remain vigilant to signs that someone they know becomes radicalised so that the authorities can intervene early to avert a tragedy. It noted that family members and friends are best placed to notice changes in behaviour among those around them.
Possible signs of radicalisation include, but are not limited to, the following:
- frequently surfing radical websites;
posting/sharing extremist views on social media platforms, such as expressing
support/admiration for terrorists/terrorist groups as well as the use of violence;
- sharing their extremist views with friends and relatives;
- making remarks that promote ill-will or hatred towards people of other races or religions;
- expressing intent to participate in acts of violence overseas or in Singapore; and/or
- inciting others to participate in acts of violence.
Anyone who knows or suspects that a person has been radicalised should promptly contact the ISD Counter-Terrorism Centre hotline 1800-2626-473 (1800-2626-ISD).
Religious leaders urge parents to pay greater attention to their young ones as 15-year-old gets detained under ISA
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