Singapore detains alleged sponsor of Malaysian Daesh fighter

Singaporean businessman Mohamed Kazali bin Salleh, 48, is suspected of being a “close associate” of Mohamad Aquil bin Wan Zainal Abidin, believed to be the most senior Malaysian Daesh fighter in Syria. (File/AFP)
Updated 15 February 2019
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Singapore detains alleged sponsor of Malaysian Daesh fighter

  • The arrest highlights the continued influence of Southeast Asian militants fighting with Daesh in Iraq and Syria in radicalizing people back home
  • The Daesh militants is facing defeat in the Middle East

SINGAPORE: A Singaporean man who gave financial support to a Syria-based Daesh militant from Malaysia has been detained under the city-state’s tough internal security laws, authorities said Friday.
The arrest highlights the continued influence of Southeast Asian militants fighting with Daesh in Iraq and Syria in radicalizing people back home, even as the militants face defeat in the Middle East.
Singaporean businessman Mohamed Kazali bin Salleh, 48, is suspected of being a “close associate” of Mohamad Aquil bin Wan Zainal Abidin, believed to be the most senior Malaysian Daesh fighter in Syria, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Kazali, who had been living in the Malaysian state of Johor next to Singapore, paid for the militant’s trip to Syria in late 2013 to fight with Daesh and continued to support him financially, the ministry said.
In return, Aquil “kept him updated on his exploits on the battlefield,” it said. Kazali became increasingly radicalized over time and pledged allegiance to IS chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
He shared news of Aquil’s activities in Syria on social media to inspire others to travel there and was also prepared to finance them.
In December, he received instructions from Aquil to carry out an attack in Johor but he did not follow through for fear of being arrested, MHA said.
Kazali was arrested by Malaysian authorities in December and deported to Singapore, where he is being held under the Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial for up to two years.
A second person was also detained under the act — Hazim Syahmi bin Mahfoot, a 28-year-old car exporter who was influenced by Kazali’s radical views and was convinced by him to carry out attacks against Islam’s perceived enemies.
He took an oath to be “loyal and obedient to Kazali even if it involved carrying out attacks and killing others,” although he did not participate in any acts of violence, authorities said.


Australians rally in support of Muslims after mosques massacre

Updated 22 March 2019
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Australians rally in support of Muslims after mosques massacre

  • Hundreds of Australians on Friday took to the streets in a mass show of support for Muslim communities
  • Crowds from a range of ethnic backgrounds carried banners and chanted slogans backing Muslims

ADELAIDE: Hundreds of Australians on Friday took to the streets in a mass show of support for Muslim communities in the wake of last week’s terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand, which left 50 people dead. 
A huge rally took place in the center of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, a week to the day since the shootings in Christchurch.
And students at The University of Adelaide staged their own gathering in front of the main campus to express solidarity and denounce racism.
Crowds from a range of ethnic backgrounds carried banners and chanted slogans backing Muslims and other minority groups as they marched in the city’s Rundle Mall. They also criticized the Australian Border Force for its policies toward immigrants.
In cities throughout Australia people, shocked by the attacks on worshippers at the Al-Noor and Linwood mosques, rallied to condemn extremism and racial hate.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the atrocity as the darkest day in her country’s history.