Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen warns of rising terror threat in city

Risk to the Singapore stems from the intent of radical Islamic operators to cement influence in the region by launching terror strikes,

Singapore thanks Indonesia for arresting suspects over Marina Bay attack plot
Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen Reuters

Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on Friday the terrorism threat in the country is a "clear and present danger", and warned Singaporeans to exercise caution in the Christmas weekend.

The warning came in the backdrop of the Christmas market attack in Berlin earlier in the week that killed 12 shoppers when a radicalised Tunisian man rammed a laden truck into the crowds. Islamic terror outfit Isis claimed that attack on Berlin. The attacker was shot dead in Italy three days later in a confrontation with the police.

Closer home, the latest arrests in Jakarta in anti-terror sweep is reminder that terrorism is a clear threat, the minister said in a Facebook post. However, the minister asked Singaporeans not to give in to fear and asked them to go about festivities in their own ways. "If we do, then terrorists have already won," Ng wrote on Facebook.

At the beginning of the month, Singapore had said terror threat to the city state was higher than before. The risk to the Southeast Asian financial hub stems from the intent of radical Islamic operators to cement influence in the region by launching terror strikes, senior officials said.

Terror related detention have become common in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia ever since the Isis sympathizers started infiltrating into the countries in the region and even establishing sleeping cells. In Singapore these modules were set up among the immigrant work forces. In the broader region, While Bangladesh and Philippines have faced multiple terror strikes this year.

In October, Singapore conducted the biggest ever anti-terror drill that enacted mass shootings, hostage-crises, armed assaults in public spaces and suicide bomb attacks. More than 3,200 officers from the SPF, SAF, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) took part in the security drill.

Ng said the country's armed forces and the police are trying to protect the country fully under trying circumstances.

"We thank these men and women, including Home Team members, who keep us safe. All of us should remain vigilant, even as we celebrate the peace and security that we enjoy in Singapore," he said, according to the Channel News Asia.