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I am a Practitioner of 'The 7e Way of Leaders' where a Leader will Envision, Enable (ASK for TOP D), Empower, Execute, Energize, and Evolve grounded on ETHICS!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Daily Lessons from Life 20 January 2016 - 27 Bangladeshi nationals arrested in Singapore and repatriated for terror links

"27 Bangladeshi nationals arrested in Singapore and repatriated for terror links - CNA 20 Jan 2016

SINGAPORE: The Internal Security Department has arrested 27 male Bangladeshi nationals working in Singapore, who were planning to take part in extremist activities in other countries, including their homeland of Bangladesh. No terrorist acts were planned in Singapore, the authorities said.

The 27, all working in the construction industry in Singapore, were arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) between Nov 16 and Dec 1, 2015, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Wednesday (Jan 20). All but one have been repatriated to Bangladesh, with the last set to be repatriated after serving a jail term for attempting to illegally leave Singapore.

Of those arrested, 26 were members of a closed religious study group that supported the armed jihad ideology of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, said the MHA. The 26 subscribed to extremist beliefs and teachings of radical ideologues like Anwar al-Awlaki, the ministry added, referring to an Al Qaeda-linked extremist teacher who was killed in Yemen in 2011.
"The group members took measures to avoid detection by the authorities. They shared jihadi-related material discreetly among themselves, and held weekly meetings and gatherings where they discussed armed jihad and conflicts that involved Muslims. They also carefully targeted the recruitment of other Bangladeshi nationals to grow their membership," said the ministry in its press release, which listed the names of all 27.

A significant quantity of radical and jihadi-related material including books and videos, as well as footage of children undergoing training in what appeared to be terrorist military camps, were recovered from the possession of the group, said the ministry.
Several members also had a shared document containing graphic images and instruction details on how to conduct “silent killings” using different methods and weapons. For example, a copy of one of the documents, seen by Channel NewsAsia, bore the title “Techniques of Silent Killing” in English, and contained a step-by-step illustrated guide on how to stab a seated man.

"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 in support of terrorism. Foreigners are guests of our country and they should not abuse this privilege and use Singapore as a base to import their own domestic political agenda and carry out activities in pursuit of such an agenda," said the Home Affairs Ministry.
Singapore's Minister-in-charge for Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim also said he was "deeply concerned" about the arrests, and appealed to Singaporeans to be more vigilant towards radical teachings and ideologies, or of any suspicious activities.

"I hope we will remain united and not resort to discriminating foreign workers here," he added. "The actions of a few cannot determine how we treat others who have worked so hard to build our homes, schools and hospitals."

The Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC), a non-government organisation for foreign workers in Singapore, also cautioned against discrimination.

The Mufti of Singapore Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram spoke out against extremism following news of the arrests. "They contradict the fundamental Islamic teaching of protecting the sanctity of human life and preserving peace and harmony at all times. The safety and peace of Singapore is of paramount interest to the Singapore Muslim community," he said.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) called on the Singapore Muslim community to remain vigilant and uphold resilience against radicalism. It also said it will step up efforts to prevent any form of radical teachings from taking root in the Singaporean Muslim community."

This is SOBERING piece of news!

Lessons for me are:

1. GOOD that someone is WATCHING someone THOUGH this is NOT how we want to be!;

2. bearded men will not be very attractive given all who appeared here keep beards for some reasons. OK. This is no laughing matter so seriously it is COMMENDABLE work that MHA folks managed to track this group, thankfully 26 out of the 27 come from one closed religious group, before they change their minds and target Singapore as construction workers don't exactly get the best treatment by their employers, not by choice but many employers are just small time businessmen trying to make a living for themselves!;

3. as for those who call for 'non-discrimination' against foreign workers due to this incident may be jumping the gun and assumed that Singaporeans are just unthinking! 27 out of a million foreign workers who are potential terrorists, religious or otherwise, is really insignificant. The fear for foreign workers is strike and industrial actions that will paralyse a nation so dependent on 'cheaper' labour for some many of our industries, constructions and services!

Will there be some loose cannons that spout 'discriminatory' comments on the internet and print spaces? Of course, there will be. It would be total scary IF there were NONE! Again, this group will be small and we can let the readers to decide if they make sense. At the same time, IF they go beyond 'discriminatory' to 'defamatory and inciting hatreds and promoting violence against foreign workers', they MUST be brought to justice too.

While we are STILL hooked on foreign workers, we hopefully will see the days where we no longer rely on them!   

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