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Singapore says five maids probed in past two years for suspected radicalism

by December 19, 2016 General

Dian Yulia Novi in an interview with TVOne. — Screencap by TODAYDian Yulia Novi in an interview with TVOne. — Screencap by TODAYSINGAPORE, Dec 19 — Five domestic helpers were among about 70 foreigners investigated and deported for suspected radicalism in the last two years, said the Ministry of Home Affairs today. Although all five were radicalised, they “did not pose an imminent security threat at the time of investigation”.

MHA’s statement came after the Indonesian authorities arrested Dian Yuli Novi, 27, over a foiled suicide attack using a 3kg homemade pressure-cooker bomb at the presidential palace during its change of guard ceremony on December 11.

The MHA said Dian had worked in Singapore as a maid between 2008 and 2009, but she did not show signs of being radicalised during that time. Singapore’s security agencies are in touch with the Indonesian counterparts regarding her case.

A majority of the 70 foreigners investigated were radicalised through their exposure to radical propaganda on social media, while some in turn radicalised others using such propaganda, said the MHA. 

“None of them had any plans to carry out acts of violence in Singapore at the time they were investigated, but as they were in various stages of radicalism, their presence posed a security concern for Singapore. Consequently, they were deported after the authorities in their home countries were informed of their cases,” it said.

“The Government takes a very serious view of any form of support for terrorism and will take firm and decisive action against any person who engages in any activity related to radicalism and/or terrorism. Regardless of whether he/she is a Singapore citizen or a foreigner, any person who engages in any activity that is inimical to Singapore’s national security and social cohesion will be firmly dealt with under the law,” said the MHA.

Earlier this year, six Bangladeshis who were part of a all-foreigner clandestine cell Islamic State in Bangladesh were detained under the Internal Security Act, and are now serving jail terms for offences under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act. — TODAY