Fighter in ISIS recruitment video identified as radicalised Singaporean

Screengrab of video featuring “Abu Uqayl from Singapore”
Syafiq Alzamany/Facebook

Singapore has been stepping up its game against terrorism amidst rising terror threat levels – and for good measure.

The first known Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) recruitment video featuring a Singaporean fighter, identified as Megat Shahdan Abdul Samad, surfaced on social media recently, reported the Straits Times.

This did not come to a shock to Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam, who said in a Facebook Post that “we expected this will happen sometime.”

“We have to think of ways of dealing with radicalisation of Singaporeans, that could take place outside Singapore, particularly in countries where the possibilities of radicalisation are higher”.

He also said that the government condemns any individual who “supports, promotes, undertakes, or makes preparations to undertake armed violence, regardless of how they rationalise such violence, or where the violence takes place”.

Singapore’s Internal Security Department (ISD) revealed that the 39-year-old was believed to have been radicalised when he was working in the Middle East, after leaving Singapore in 2014. He has since made his way to Syria and is believed to be with ISIS there.

Press Release from the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding ISIS recruitment video
K. Shanmugam Facebook Page

According to the daily, the 3 min 30sec-long video was posted by Al Hayat Media Centre, a media arm of ISIS, and it was shared by its Southeast Asian supporters.

It showed a group of three fighters, including Megat Shahdan (who referred to himself as “Abu Uqayl from Singapore”), dressed in camouflage and loading artillery rounds onto a truck.

In the video, Megat Shahdan praised fighters in East Asia, urged extremists elsewhere to join these fighters or to join ISIS fighters in the Middle East, and even taunted Britain’s Prince Harry.

As reported in the Straits Times, Megat Shahdan said to the camera: “To Harry, you come to Singapore and tell such stories to gain sympathy for the London terror attacks? Why don’t you come here and fight us if you are man enough? So we can send you and your Apaches to hellfire.”

The video was first flagged on social media sites SMRT Feedback and Observer+.

The Home Affairs Ministry has urged anyone who is contact with him or knows of anyone in touch with him to report it to the authorities.