17-yr-old boy detained for supporting ISIS

Singapore: A 17-year-old boy has been detained in Singapore for being a staunch supporter of the Islamic State terror group in Iraq and Syria, according to an official statement.

The secondary school boy, who has not been identified by the officials, has been detained under the Internal Security Act.

He was first investigated in September 2017 when he was 15 years old, after he posted defaced images of President Halimah Yacob on social media and called on the ISIS to behead her for supporting Singapore, which he viewed as an “infidel” state, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement on Monday.

The ministry said he had been radicalised by a foreign online contact, who introduced him to the pro-ISIS social media groups in 2017.

Through these groups, the boy gained access to what he believed was exclusive ISIS content, the MHA said.

“In his eyes, ISIS was a powerful group that was fighting for Islam and its use of violence against its opponents was therefore justified,” The Straits Times reported quoting the statement. After this came to light in 2017, the ministry said it has tried to steer the boy away from the radical path, but he remained a staunch supporter of the ISIS.

He continued to believe in ISIS, even with the demise of the terrorist group's so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq, and was willing to assist it in its online propaganda efforts, said the MHA.

He was also willing to undertake other activities if called upon by the ISIS to do so, the ministry added.

It noted, however, that there were no signs that he had spread his pro-ISIS views to others around him.

Singapore's 5.5 million multi-national community includes a diversified religious groups, including followers of Islam.

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