Singapore’s Home Ministry revealed that it had deported 15 Bangladeshi nationals over social media posts created in response to last month’s French terror attacks and charged one person under the Homeland Security Act.
Although the Singapore authorities did not elaborate on the content of the posts, which creates after the republishing of controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a French magazine, they said they had “incited violence.”
Through increased surveillance, authorities say they found a Malaysian intending to engage in armed violence in either Syria or Palestine. Also, a Bangladeshi named Ahmed Faysal, 26, who has donated funds to Islamic militant groups in Syria and has a knife meant to attack Hindus in his home country. The Malaysian is repatriating, and Ahmed is arresting under the Homeland Security Act, which allows detention without trial.
The deportees of Bangladeshi were mostly working in construction and identified through enhanced social media surveillance after last month’s terror attacks in France coupled with the widespread upheaval over the magazine’s defense by French President Emmanuel Macron.
“considering the deteriorating security situation, the Home Team more vigilant since early September, and has also stepped up its security activities to prevent copycat attacks in Singapore,” he added.
Another 21 people investigated, 14 of whom are Singaporeans. Some of them left comments on the same online discussion thread.
“These people have attracted security attention because of suspected radical inclinations, or for making comments that incite violence, or spark communal unrest,” the statement continued, adding that most in some form supported the beheading of a French school teacher or violence against 16 October.
The Macron or the French in general for the republication of the Charlie Hebdo magazine image is considered very offensive to many Muslims. This suggests that some are being investigated for expressing Islamophobic views.
In September, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo reissues cartoons of the Prophet Islam Muhammad as trials begin for those accused of murdering 12 people in a Paris newsroom. A French high school teacher, Samuel Paty, was beheaded by an extremist after he shared the image at his school.
Macron defended the magazine’s decision in the name of free speech, provoked outrage in Islamic countries includes Saudi Arabia, and invited a boycott of French products.