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Indian-origin teen detained in Singapore for planning mosque attacks after watching IS videos

The boy, a Christian, had watched the livestream killing of Muslims at Christchurch in New Zealand on 15 March 2019, and planned to carry out his attack on its second anniversary.

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New Delhi: A 16-year-old boy of Indian descent has been detained by Singapore’s security authorities for planning attacks on two mosques. The accused is the youngest person to be detained under the country’s Internal Security Act for terrorism-related activities, according to the authorities.

The teen, a Christian, was reportedly inspired by the killing of Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand, on 15 March 2019, and was planning to carry out an attack coinciding with the second anniversary this year. He had purchased a tactical vest online and had also intended to buy a machete (a big knife-like weapon).

The teenager, who was arrested in December 2020, was allegedly planning to live stream the attack and planned his travel route, identified mosque entrances and where to park his vehicle, the Internal Security Department (ISD) said in a statement Wednesday.

His targets were the Assyafaah Mosque and Yusof Ishak Mosque because they were near his home, the ISD said, adding that the teen conducted online research using Google Maps to plan the attacks.

“He was self-radicalised, motivated by a strong antipathy towards Islam and a fascination with violence,” the ISD said.

The investigation indicated that the teenager was acting alone, and had not tried to include or influence anyone with his plan.

The ISD said it received information last November about a Singapore-based individual who wanted to attack Muslims in the country. They arrested the teen under the ISA on 26 November and a detention order was issued on 23 December.

Also read: Facebook & YouTube blindsided by live video of massacre in New Zealand mosques

‘Was ready to die’

According to the authorities, the 16-year-old watched the livestream video of the attack on the two mosques in Christchurch, and had read the manifesto of the attacker, Brenton Tarrant, a white supremacist currently serving life imprisonment. Tarrant had killed 51 worshippers and injured dozens of others in the attacks.

“He (the teen) had also watched Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) propaganda videos, and came to the erroneous conclusion that ISIS represented Islam, and that Islam called on its followers to kill non-believers,” they said.

The ISD said that the teen was prepared for two outcomes of his plan. “He admitted during the investigation that he could only foresee two outcomes to his plan — that he is arrested before he is able to carry out the attacks, or he executes the plan and is thereafter killed by the police.”

Law and Home Affairs Minister of Singapore K. Shanmugam said it was “quite chilling” to hear the teen saying that he was ready to die to ISD officers. “He went in fully prepared, knowing that he is going to die, and he was prepared to die,” he said.

Also read: Why Singapore’s Covid success cannot be easily replicated


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  1. thrs no mention of IS , why does the headline say IS. you and your editor doesn’t really help islamophobia rather u encourage it. Especially in country that’s already extremely polarized. Expect better from theprint.

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