SINGAPORE – A self-radicalised Malaysian man with access to Changi Airfreight Centre has been detained and repatriated to Malaysia, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Friday (Feb 9).
Muhammad Nur Hanief Abdul Jalil, 33, who worked as a driver with a local airfreight company, had planned to travel to the Middle East to participate in armed conflict, MHA added.
Due to his job, he had access to Changi Airfreight Centre, a restricted area. The centre provides airfreight services to Changi Airport.
Hanief was arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) last month, after he was found to have been radicalised by the online teachings of extremist Muslim preachers. He was repatriated to Malaysia – with his work permit cancelled – this month.
“Investigations have revealed that since 2008, Hanief perused online materials of foreign extremist preachers including Imran Hosein, Zakir Naik and Anjem Choudary,” said the MHA.
“He was also influenced by Ismail Menk and Haslin Baharim, who propagated segregationist and divisive teachings,” MHA added.
Mr Menk and Mr Haslin were among foreign preachers recently prevented from entering Singapore due to their teachings.
Mr Zakir Naik is a Muslim preacher from India who was charged by India’s National Investigation Agency last October for inciting terror and delivering hate speeches.
Hanief has held various jobs here since 2011, MHA said, adding that his radicalisation “renders him a security threat to Singapore” even though there were no indications that he had tried to radicalise others or planned any terrorist attacks here.
“In late 2017, Hanief decided to act on his plans to participate in the conflict in Syria or Palestine after he suffered setbacks in his work and personal life,” said the MHA.
“He was prepared to join any militant group there, including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Free Syrian Army, or Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.”
Hanief contacted Mr Haslin and sought his advice on whether he would become a martyr if he was killed in a conflict zone in Syria.
Mr Haslin’s said it was God’s will if one should die as a martyr, which Hanief interpreted as an affirmative reply, MHA said.
Hanief’s repatriation comes months after the authorities denied three foreign preachers from entering the Republic due to their divisive teachings.
They were planning to join international passengers on a five-day spiritual cruise from Singapore to Aceh last November.
Among the three were Mr Menk and Mr Haslin.
Mr Menk has taught that it is blasphemous and “the biggest sin” for Muslims to wish non-Muslims “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Deepavali”.
Mr Haslin has advocated that in multi-cultural and multi-religious societies, non-Muslims should be made subservient to Muslims.
The MHA statement on Friday also said that Restriction Orders under ISA issued against four individuals have been allowed to lapse. The four are: self-radicalised individuals Muhammad Zamri Abdullah, 36; Zakaria Rosdan, 27; and Muhammad Khairul Sofri Osman, 33, as well as Jemaah Islamiyah member Mohd Azmi Ali, 49.