Singapore police arrest man planning to join Islamic State-linked fighters in Marawi

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Islamic State-linked fighters
The arrested man was planning to join terrorist fighters holding out in Marawi

Police in Singapore have arrested a man suspected of planning to join Islamic State-linked fighters in the Philippines.

Also arrested today (Thursday, September 7) was a woman suspected of being in contact with foreign terrorists.

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Singapore has become increasingly concerned about the risks of radicalisation among its Muslim minority.

At least 14 radicalised Singaporeans have been put under restriction or detention orders since 2015, up sharply from 11 cases between 2007 and 2014.

The man arrested has been identified as Imran Kassim, aged 34. The Ministry of Home Affairs said he had tried to travel to Syria to join IS fighters at least twice.

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More recently, he had been planning to join terrorists who continue to hold out in Marawi City.

Imran was actively garnering support for IS online, posting propaganda material with his different personas on numerous social media accounts. It was his radical and pro-militant stance that drew the attention of the people close to him. They reported his activities to the authorities.

Police: Report Islamic State-linked fighters

Authorities have mounted a campaign to encourage family members, friends and neighbours to report on anyone they fear was in danger of becoming radicalised.

The woman being detained has been identified as Shakirah Begam binte Abdul Wahab, a 23-year old administrative assistant.

She is the second Singaporean woman to be detained on suspicion of becoming radicalised.

The ministry said she had been in contact with several foreign fighters since 2013.

“Shakirah has demonstrated a propensity to engage in risky behaviour which renders her vulnerable to adverse influence and recruitment by terrorists who belong to a group that poses a security threat to Singapore”, the Ministry said.

In June, police arrested a policeman and child-care worker who were both suspected of becoming radicalised.

The siege of Marawi city has been ongoing since May 23. The military says that a dwindling band of fighters are struggling to hold a rapidly shrinking area of the city centre.

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