Youth dealt with under ISA a concerning trend

Nine people under the age of 21 have been dealt with under the Internal Security Act (ISA) since 2015, with six of them detained and three handed restriction orders.

Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam revealed the figure at a media conference following the announcement that an 18-year-old student had been detained after making plans to take part in armed violence in Singapore and abroad in support of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Mr Shanmugam called it a concerning trend and added: "These things cannot be dealt with by laws alone. By the time the law moves, by the time you detain, the person has already become radicalised."

On whether the law is sufficient to tackle radicalisation, he added: "It is not just the Government, it is the community and how the community comes together."

On Wednesday, the Internal Security Department (ISD) said it detained Muhammad Irfan Danyal Mohamad Nor (above) last December after he planned to stab and kill non-Muslims in dark alleys, carry out a mass-casualty attack at the Amoy Quee Camp by recruiting a suicide car bomber and construct a C4 explosive to bomb the Keramat Habib Noh grave site at Haji Muhammad Salleh Mosque in Tanjong Pagar.

The teenager also intended to declare Coney Island an ISIS wilayat (province) in the hope that it would be recognised by ISIS as its official affiliate.

Mr Shanmugam said: "When we pick up young people, we put a lot of focus on them because we want them to go on and fulfil their potential in life. The idea of detention is not that that is the end. There is hopefully a beginning of a new path."

He added that in Irfan's case, he will receive religious counselling, and psychological and social rehabilitation. His family will also be encouraged to support him.

The Straits Times


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