Singapore - Singapore will deal “firmly” with homegrown militants plotting to carry out terrorist acts, Minister of Home Affairs Wong Kan Seng said in remarks published yesterday.
The minister‘s remarks came after his ministry announced on Friday five suspected Islamic militants had been arrested and detained under the Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial.
Among the five being detained is Abdul Basheer Abdul Kader, a law graduate who planned to fight with the Taliban militia in Afghanistan.
“Any Singaporean who makes plans and takes part in violence whether in Singapore or abroad, or gives support of any form for any terror-related activities, whether local or abroad, is a security threat and will be dealt with firmly,” said Wong, who is also deputy prime minister.
Wong dismissed claims by some who said Abdul Basheer was not a threat to Singapore because he planned to go to Afghanistan to carry out militant activities.
“Let me say categorically to such people that this sort of thinking is very wrong and very dangerous,” Wong said Saturday at the sidelines of a community event.
“This is a dangerous step because if an individual can go overseas and conduct violence and terrorist activities, he can one day also come back and do the same to Singapore and work against Singaporeans,” he said.
The other four being detained are alleged members of Jemaah Islamiyah, the Southeast Asian extremist group linked to Al Qaeda and responsible for the deadly 2002 and 2005 bombings in Indonesia‘s Bali island.
Singapore is a staunch supporter of the US-led fight against terrorism and believes it is high on the target list of international extremist groups.
It has in the past announced the arrest of suspected JI members who were involved in plots to attack foreign and local targets in Singapore, including Changi Airport.
The city-state has stepped up security in areas frequented by the local expatriate community, Western embassies and government buildings since the September 2001 attacks in the United States.
More than 30 suspected militants are being detained under the Internal Security Act.–AFP
Source: www.gulf-times.com (11 Juni 2007)