Singapore is still on ISIS terror threat list: President

President Halimah Yacob
President Halimah Yacob Reuters

The Islamic militant group ISIS planned to attack Singapore twice in 2016 but their plan of the same was ruined by security agencies. President Halimah Yacob recently in a speech said that the south-east Asian country might witness such terror threats in future as well.

According to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reports, in terms of terror threats Singapore remains a key target of the jihadist group and the Singapore Terrorism Threat Assessment Report 2017 has stated that ISIS happens to be the most serious threat to Singapore.

During the inaugural Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle (IRCC) Convention held at Suntec City Convention, Halimah said that the country might witness more cases of wrong religion preaching and terror threats.

In 2016, the Batam-based terrorist tried to launch a rocket attack at Singapore's Marina Bay Sands integrated resort but Indonesia ruined the plot. In the same year, another ISIS-linked incident, that of a grenade attack took place outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in June, including suicide bombing cases and shooting in Indonesia region.

Halimah mentioned the four individuals, who received detention order by authorities in 2017 as they were found connected to terrorist groups and radical elements in cyberspace.

She also said that the country will not see a Singapore national get influenced by some radical writings and online conversation but the country will likely see more cases of terrorism where preachers might encourage their followers to stay away from those who do not share the same faith.

63-year-old Halimah's speech also indicated that Singaporeans should not feel shy while talking about sensitive issues such as religion and race, as the understanding between communities and harmony is essential for the development of a healthy country.

Singapore government has created many platforms such as Broadening Religious and Racial Interaction through Dialogue, including General Education (Bridge) programme to strengthen the bonding between communities. Security agencies will also do their work, and help in detecting and preventing a terror attack in Singapore.

The MHA report also stated that Singaporeans can better appreciate the seriousness of these threats. People should be alert and prepared for any kind of terror attack in the country.

This article was first published on January 27, 2018