Singaporean housewife detained for supporting ISIS




A 34-year-old Singaporean housewife has been detained under the tough Internal Security Act (ISA) after an “escalation” in her radical behaviour and persistently communicating online with overseas supporters of the Islamic State terror group.

Ruqayyah Ramli, formerly a part-time freelance religious teacher, was previously issued with a restriction order after she was found to have been radicalised by her Malaysian husband, Mohd Firdaus Kamal Intdzam, who was arrested and repatriated from Singapore in August last year for supporting the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).

On April 15, the Malaysian High Court sentenced Mohd Firdaus to three years’ jail for possession of terrorism-related propaganda materials.

Ruqayyah was placed on a restriction order under the ISA. Since then, her radical behaviour and involvement in “activities prejudicial to Singapore’s security” have escalated, the Internal Security Department (ISD) said on Wednesday.

“Ruqayyah has refused to make any genuine effort to participate in the rehabilitation programme, and remains entrenched in her radical beliefs,” Channel News Asia quoted ISD as saying.

“She continues to support ISIS’s violent actions and believes in the use of violence against the perceived enemies of Islam.”

In contravention of her restriction order, Ruqayyah also persisted in communicating online with overseas ISIS supporters who were associates of her husband.

“She was thus detained to prevent her from progressing further down the violent radical path,” said ISD.            

The department said Ruqayyah had supported her husband’s intention to join and fight for ISIS in Syria. She was willing to accompany him to the conflict zone, where she intended to take care of the family and assist wounded ISIS fighters, ISD said.

Meanwhile, 2 self-radicalised Singaporeans were released from detention in May.          They showed good progress in their rehabilitation and were assessed to no longer pose a security threat requiring preventive detention, said ISD.

Mohamed Faishal Mohd Razali, 30, was detained in April 2018 after he wanted to pursue armed violence in overseas conflicts. He was released under a suspension direction.

Kuthubdeen Haja Najumudeen, 38, was released on a restriction order.

Haja was a follower of Sri Lankan radical preacher Zahran Hashim, the mastermind and one of the suicide bombers in the Sri Lanka Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in 2019.

Also, Singaporean Ahmed Hussein Abdul Kadir, 36, had been detained in August 2018 for supporting ISIS. The detention order was cancelled in October 2019 after he was sentenced to 30 months’ jail for terrorism financing offences.

ISD said it had continued Hussein’s rehabilitation during his imprisonment. “He has since made good progress in his rehabilitation and is assessed to no longer pose a security threat requiring preventive detention,” the Channel quoted ISD.

Hussein was issued with a restriction order after he completed his sentence last month.