Eight Bangladeshi men have been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) of Singapore for their alleged plot to stage terror attacks back home, Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs announced on Tuesday.
The men, aged between 26 and 34, called their group the Islamic State in Bangladesh (ISB) and intended to join terror group ISIS as foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, reports The Straits Times, an English-language daily based in Singapore.
The ministry said a document, titled ‘We Need For Jihad Fight’, was recovered from Mizanur Rahman, which contained a list of Bangladeshi government and military officials who could be targeted. It included ‘media people’ and ‘disbelievers’.
He also possessed documents on weapons and bomb making, as well as a significant amount of ISIS and Al-Qaeda radical material which he used to recruit ISB members in Singapore from January 2016.
“The ISB members planned to recruit other Bangladeshi nationals working in Singapore to grow the group,” the ministry added.
They focused on returning to Bangladesh to topple their government through violent means, set up an Islamic State there, and bring it under the self-declared caliphate of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), it said.
The Bangladeshi workers were detained last month (April, 2016), in the first ISA detentions involving a terror cell of foreign workers.
Late last year, a closed religious study group of 27 radicalised Bangladeshi workers who had a significant amount of extremist material in their possession were arrested under the ISA, and deported. Their deportations were made public in January.
The group’s ringleader, Mizanur Rahman, 31, was an S-Pass holder in construction who set up ISB as a clandestine group in March this year, said the ministry.
He recruited the other seven, all Work Permit holders employed in the local construction and marine industries.
They are Mamun Leakot Ali, 29; Sohag Ibrahim, 27; Miah Rubel, 26; Zzaman Daulat, 34; Islam Shariful, 27; Md Jabath Kysar Haje Norul Islam Sowdagar, 30; and Sohel Hawlader Ismail Hawlader, 29.
“ISB poses a security concern to Singapore because of its support for ISIS and its readiness to resort to the use of violence overseas,” the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement on the detentions.
As part of the crackdown on ISB, another five Bangladeshi workers were investigated under the ISA. The ministry said investigations showed that they were not involved in ISB. All five have been repatriated to Bangladesh.