8 Bangladeshi men not radicalised when they first entered Singapore: MHA

SINGAPORE - The eight Bangladeshi nationals who were arrested between late March and early April were not known to be radicalised or involved in terrorism-related activities at the time when they first came to work in Singapore, the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Wednesday (May 4).

MHA released this information after announcing on Tuesday that the men were detained by the Internal Security Department in April. The men were planning to stage attacks in Bangladesh and they even had a target list, bomb-making manuals and had raised funds to secure firearms back home.

MHA added that the men had each worked in Singapore for between three and ten years and had all been employed in the local construction and marine industries. However, there was no significant concentration in any particular company nor did the men live in the same accommodation.

The men were identified to be members of the Islamic State of Bangladesh (ISB) which communed at open parks or fields. According to MHA, the group shared large amounts of radical propaganda and videos which deepened the radicalism of the members. There was also a leader, deputy leader among other assigned roles.

The Bangladeshi authorities have been informed of the group and its activities, and have been helpful in providing some information, the ministry said.

The ministry added that there is no indication that this group of detainees are also members of the Bangladeshi radical religious group who were arrested last year. Some of them are, however, personally acquainted with a few members of the radical religious group because they chanced upon one another in Singapore.

The Bangladeshi nationals in both incidents were not known to have targeted Singapore at the time of their arrests.