Singapore have deported 26 Bangladeshi citizens as they were planning to take part in extremist activities overseas.
Singaporean authorities arrested 27 alleged suspects under the Internal Security Act last year in November and December. They were planning to conduct terrorist activities in other countries including their homeland Bangladesh. But they were not planning any terrorist attacks in Singapore, according to the Home Ministry.
The remaining suspect has been serving a jail sentence for attempting to leave Singapore illegally after learning about the arrests of his fellow group members. He will also be repatriated once he completes his sentence.
The men, who were working in the construction industry, supported the armed jihad ideology of terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They are also charged of providing monetary donations to entities linked to extremist groups in Bangladesh.
All of the detainees excluding one were members of a closed religious study group that supported the armed jihad ideology. The 26 construction workers subscribed to extremist beliefs and teachings of radical ideologues like Anwar al-Awlaki, an American and Yemeni Islamic cleric. Awlaki, who had ties with militant group Al-Qaeda, was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in September 2011.
“The group members shared jihadi-related material discreetly among themselves to avoid detection by the authorities. They held weekly meetings and gatherings where they discussed armed jihad and conflict that involved Muslims,” said the Ministry of Home Affairs in a press release.
Some of the members supported the killing of shi’ites because they consider Shi’ites to be deviant. The Bangladeshi men expressed anger against the government over its crackdown targeting Islamic groups and leaders. Moreover, several of them contemplated traveling to and participating in armed jihad in the Middle East. IMAGE/freemalaysiatoday.com