A Singaporean man was sentenced to 33 months in jail yesterday for funding Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) activities.
Imran Kassim, 36, was convicted of transferring $450 through remittance company Western Union to Mohamad Alsaied Alhmidan in Turkey on Oct 31, 2014, for the publication of ISIS propaganda.
Although he admitted in his trial on Monday that he made the transfer, Imran insisted he did not break the law as he did not recognise Singapore law and recognised only Syariah law.
Deputy Public Prosecutors Nicholas Khoo and Foo Shi Hao sought a sentence of 32 to 33 months' jail.
They argued a lengthy imprisonment term would send a signal to like-minded potential offenders not to go down the same path.
They said: "Terrorism, whether in the form of acts or ideals, is globally condemned, and it is in the public interest of Singapore to ensure that the financing of terrorism is dealt with firmly."
In 2014, Imran saw a Facebook post by Alsaied calling for donations and he messaged him via Facebook saying he wanted to make a donation.
Alsaied told Imran to download an encrypted mobile application and provided him with details to make the transfer.
Imran had claimed trial to his charge under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act. He is the first Singaporean here to be charged with terror financing.
The DPPs also noted that Imran had carried out the offence deliberately and had taken steps to avoid detection.
Imran started taking an interest in ISIS in 2013, following the group's videos on executions.
In early 2014, he even tried to join ISIS under the cover of providing humanitarian aid. That same year, he posted his pledge of allegiance to them on his Facebook account.
Imran's younger brother, who did not want to be named, gave a statement on behalf of the family, describing Imran as a kind person and principled man.
The brother said: "However, let me be clear that we stand with Singapore against Imran's actions.
"He ultimately wanted to protect people, to save civilians and not kill them.
"But he sided with an enemy of Singapore known for using fear, intimidation and manipulation as a means to their end."
This article was first published in The New Paper. Permission required for reproduction.