a community of singaporeans

Latest “terrorist” detentions: Some questions

Posted by theonlinecitizen on June 18, 2007

This is an extract from Gerald Giam’s blog.

On June 9, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) made a shock announcement that it had detained a young lawyer, Abdul Basheer s/o Abdul Karim, and 4 alleged Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) operatives under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in February. Information from the press release is scant, and raises many questions.

Which Middle East country was Abdul Basheer arrested in?

Why was there no effort by the Government and the media to point out that he is not Malay?

So why the rush to arrest him without any evidence of criminal wrongdoing?

Is this really what can turn an intelligent, educated Singaporean into a terrorist?

To read the full posting, please visit Gerald’s blog at Singapore Patriot.

Read also the Straits Times report: ‘Self-radicalised’ law grad, 4 JI militants held

The International Herald Tribune: Singapore detains suspected jihadist, 4 alleged terror group members


6 Responses to “Latest “terrorist” detentions: Some questions”

  1. aygee said

    Gerald brought up a good point in this.

    So a man reads the Internet and he becomes “radical” – I need to understand how they’ve come to the conclusion this man is a threat to Singapore or the global community through watching his Internet habits.

    Say a person reads a lot on left-wing ideology from the internet and truly believes in socialism or communism. He starts dressing in Mao uniforms and carries “the little red book” in his pocket. He intends to go to China to join the CCP. Does he become a threat to Singapore?

    A lot of people learn Arabic so that they can study the Quran in its purest form. Much like someone learns Hebrew, Aramic or Latin to study the Bible and the Torah in their purest form. so he studied the language just to communicate with Mujahidin fighters? “Mujahidin fighters” – when the Soviets were occupying Afghanistan, the CIA worked with these “Mujahidin” fighters.

    in Afghanistan, “Mujahidin” was used to describe all fighters that were working towards removing an occupier.

    Hmm – so he wants to join the Taleban and fight in Afghanistan. and that is a threat for the MHA in Singapore or for the US forces in Afghanistan?

    Its not like JI who intended to bomb the MRT is it? oh wait – he does have connections with JI people…because 4 other people from JI are also arrested.

    Considering that the holding of “enemy combatants” in Guantanamo is deemed illegal by the US Supreme Court, while ISA is still legal in Singapore, i feel there’s more to this story that what’s being told to us.

  2. Well, I can say that a resurgent Taleban is dangerous to Singapore’s national security downstream.

    however, the issue here is transparency of process.

  3. Even without a trial, the suspected militants or JI members should be allowed to confess their deed or misdeed to the press.

    Some people still do not believe what the government says. So a public confession by the militants in public view can convince Singaporeans that they are really a thread to Singapore stability.

  4. sarek said

    The Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, usually referred to in the Japanese media as the subway sarin incident (地下鉄サリン事件, chikatetsu sarin jiken?) was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated by members of Aum Shinrikyo on March 20, 1995.

    I think people can benefit from recalling the above incident. The cult members were also well educated.

    Hmm – so he wants to join the Taleban and fight in Afghanistan. and that is a threat for the MHA in Singapore or for the US forces in Afghanistan?

    I believe the USA had most of the nations sign up on a global anti-terrorism pact. Someone planning to join the Taleban is considered aiding terrorism.

  5. Y.K. said

    Terrorism has no boundaries. To think that they respect the rule of law is a joke. These people are “FANATICS”, democratic norms work for the sane not the insane. Singapore cannot let its guard down. Education does not necessarily make a better and sensible person but it is the individual.

    The Ministry of Home Affairs have done a great job to protect Singapore and while at times it seems “UNDEMOCRATIC”, unfortunately this is necessary. The U.S. are champion of human rights and yet thousands of innocent lives were lost in 9/11.

    Why choose to migrate to a country when you hate it so much? Stay where you are if you really believe in what you are doing.

    Singaporeans are lucky to have the security we still have but this does not mean that we will not be hit. While the government will continue to do its best to build racial and religious harmony, one can never tell what is going on in the minds of “FANATICS” hence security cannot be taken for granted.


  6. One can fight terrorism but at the same time reassure the public that due process has been followed so that they are not in the impression that the ISA is being used this time, as a foundational move to something larger.

    You cannot blame the laymen for thinking this way, after all, this government is not exactly checks-and-balances in nature, and has been known to use the ISA for non-violent activity as well.

    I would propose scrapping the ISA and introduce more specific counter-terror legislation that limits the government’s power to detain without trial for a specific time before the suspect has to appear before a commission. Such a commission’s transcript may be released with parts vital to intelligence or national security blanked out.

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