Singapore arrests suspected Bangladeshi militants

Eight Bangladeshis were detained in Singapore for alleged radicalization and the intention to overthrow Bangladesh's government, the Ministry of Home Affairs said Tuesday.

They had intended to fight for Islamic State in Syria, the ministry said, but changed their minds as they felt it would be difficult to get to Syria.

They then allegedly turned their attention to overthrowing the Bangladesh government on their return home, to bring it under the caliphate declared by Islamic State.

The ministry has identified 31-year-old Rahman Mizanur as the ringleader of the group, and said a document containing a list of Bangladeshi government and military officials identified as targets was found. He was reported to also have documents on making bombs.

They were detained under the Internal Security Act.

"ISB poses a security concern to Singapore because of its support for ISIS and its readiness to resort to the use of violence overseas," said the ministry in its statement.

The detained individuals are still under investigation for their activities in Singapore, with the possibility of several being found liable for terrorism financing.

Five other Bangladeshi nationals were investigated under the Internal Security Act, the ministry added. They were found not to have been involved in ISB, but possessed jihadi-related materials or supported the use of armed violence for a religious cause and have been repatriated.

Bangladeshi police detained the five suspects on their arrival on Monday.

“They will be produced before the court shortly to fix the next course of legal actions,” Monirul Islam, chief of Bangladesh’s counter intelligence unit, told reporters.

In January, 27 Bangladeshi construction workers were deported from Singapore for allegedly "supporting the armed jihad ideology" of militant groups like al-Qaeda and Islamic State, according to the Singapore government.

Last update: Tue, 03/05/2016 - 14:50
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