Man charged for allegedly transferring nearly $900 to finance terrorist group
A man appeared in a district court on Thursday (Dec 23) after he allegedly transferred nearly $900 in total through online platforms to finance terrorist group Hay'at Tahrir al-Syam (HTS).
Bangladeshi Ahmed Faysal, 27, who appeared in court via video-link, was handed 15 charges under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act.
In a statement on Thursday, Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs said that Ahmad started working as a construction worker herein early 2017 and became radicalised the following year.
He was then attracted to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militant group's goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate in Syria.
The MHA added: "In mid-2019, Ahmed Faysal shifted his allegiance to (HTS), another militant group fighting to establish an Islamic caliphate in Syria.
"HTS is designated as a terrorist entity under the United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to the prevention and suppression of terrorism and terrorist financing."
According to court documents, Ahmed allegedly transferred the monies through online platforms JustGiving, Heroic Hearts Organization, and GiveBritefrom February to October last year.
He is accused of doing so to contribute to two fundraising campaigns - Medical Aid Syria and Ramadan 2020 Emergency Homes for Syria. Court documents do not state if these were fronts for HTS.
Each charge is said to involve between $5 and about $400 in cash.
In its statement, the MHA said that he was aware that these monies could either entirely or in part be used to benefit HTS' cause in Syria.
Its spokesman said: "The act of providing money that one has reasonable grounds to believe will benefit terrorist entities, regardless of the amount and purpose, is a serious offence under the (Act).
"Terrorism and terrorism financing are grave threats to domestic and international security, and global action is required to deprive terrorist groups of funding and materials. Singapore is part of this global effort and is strongly committed to combating terrorism financing, regardless of whether the monies are used to facilitate terrorist acts locally or abroad."
Ahmad was later arrested under the Internal Security Act for terrorism-related activities and issued with an Order of Detention.
On Thursday, the court heard that he intends to plead guilty on Feb 16 next year.
If convicted and sentenced to jail, the Order of Detention against him will be cancelled and he will serve the court-imposed sentence.
To prevent him from spreading his radical ideas to other inmates, he will be held separately while serving his prison sentence.
For each charge under the Act, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to $500,000.