Singapore detains Indonesian maids for ‘funding Daesh’

About 250,000 domestic helpers from other parts of Asia work in affluent Singapore. Above, Indonesian maids undergo training in Jakarta for infant care prior to their deployment. (AFP)
Updated 24 September 2019

Singapore detains Indonesian maids for ‘funding Daesh’

  • The maids became supporters of Daesh after viewing online material last year
  • About 250,000 domestic helpers from other parts of Asia work in affluent Singapore

SINGAPORE: Singapore has detained three Indonesian maids without trial under tough security laws over allegations they donated funds to support the Daesh group, authorities said.
It is the latest case of allegedly radicalized foreign domestic helpers arrested in the city-state, and the government said it highlighted the continued appeal of the militants’ “violent ideology.”
The trio, who worked as maids for between six and 13 years in Singapore, became supporters of Daesh after viewing online material last year, including videos of bomb attacks and beheadings, the interior ministry said.
Anindia Afiyantari, 33, Retno Hernayani, 36, and 31-year-old Turmini became acquainted around the time they were radicalized and developed a network of foreign contacts online who shared their pro- Daesh ideology.
“The three of them actively galvanized support online for Daesh,” said the ministry in a statement late Monday, using an alternative name for Daesh.
“They also donated funds to overseas-based entities for terrorism-related purposes, such as to support the activities of Daesh and JAD. Turmini believed that her donations would earn her a place in paradise.”
Officials did not say how much they contributed.
JAD refers to Indonesian militant outfit Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, which has pledged allegiance to Daesh.
The women are being held under the city-state’s Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial for up to two years.
Daesh lost the last scrap of its self-declared “caliphate” this year but remains influential. There are fears that foreign fighters returning from the Middle East could rejuvenate terror networks elsewhere, including in Southeast Asia.
There has been a steady stream of such cases reported in Singapore, which is majority ethnic Chinese but has a sizeable Muslim minority.
Before the latest three cases, authorities had detected 16 radicalized foreign domestic workers since 2015, though none were found to have plans to carry out violent acts in Singapore. They were repatriated after investigations.
About 250,000 domestic helpers from other parts of Asia work in affluent Singapore.


Minneapolis braces for more riots, arson following police killing of Afro-American George Floyd

Updated 30 May 2020

Minneapolis braces for more riots, arson following police killing of Afro-American George Floyd

CHICAGO: Minneapolis exploded into riots and arson this week after an African-American suspected of handling counterfeit money was killed on Monday during his arrest by two city police officers.

Videos on social media showed an officer placing his knee on George Floyd’s neck as he was handcuffed and being restrained on the street by the kerb. The 46-year-old said that he could not breathe, but police insisted that Floyd was “resisting arrest” and had to be forcibly restrained.

The officer who was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck was arrested on Friday and charged with murder.

Floyd was pronounced dead at the scene and his family immediately called for an independent probe.

His family turned to civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who said the family’s first concern was to seek an autopsy independent of the police because of a lack of trust in law enforcement and to give their deceased family member a proper funeral.

“Is it two justice systems in America?” Crump said as he addressed the media. “One for black America and one for white America? We can’t have that. We have to have equal justice for the United States of America and that’s what I think the protesters are crying out for.”

Protests spread across the country and turned violent as arson destroyed property, including the police station where the police officers were assigned.

President Donald Trump denounced the rioters as “thugs” and warned that he might send in the military “to take control.” 

Minneapolis Police handed the investigation into Floyd’s death to the FBI and US Justice Department on Thursday night. Officials from the FBI and US Justice Department promised that the probe would be “robust and meticulous.”

The media’s role in the protests came sharply into focus when, early on Friday, CNN’s Omar Jimenez was arrested along with his TV crew.

CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota, who looked on as her colleague was being arrested, told viewers: “If you are just tuning in you are watching our correspondent Omar Jimenez being arrested by state police in Minnesota. We are not sure why our correspondent is being arrested.”