Fighter in Islamic State video is believed to be radicalised Singaporean: MHA

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Sunday (Sep 24) said it believed a person featured in an Islamic State video was a Singaporean man named Megat Shahdan Abdul Samad.

The video, allegedly made by the media wing of Islamic State, features a fighter who claims to be “Abu ‘Uqayl from Singapore”. The 3min 30s clip has been circulating on social media.

In the video, “Abu ‘Uqayl” and a few others in camouflage military attire are loading what look like artillery shells onto a truck with a machine gun mounted on it.

He turns to the screen and speaks in English, calling for people to join the Islamic State in East Asia, or to fight with Islamic State fighters in other areas such as Libya, Yemen, West Africa, and urges them to “sacrifice all that is precious”.

He also addresses Britain’s Prince Harry, taunting him to “come here and fight us if you’re man enough”.

“Our security agencies have been aware for some time now of the presence in Syria of a Singaporean, Megat Shahdan bin Abdul Samad (aged 39), and have been monitoring his activities,” MHA said. “It is believed that the person in the video calling himself ‘Abu Uqayl’ is Shahdan.”

Shahdan left Singapore in 2014 to work in the Middle East where he was believed to have been radicalised, MHA said. He subsequently made his way to Syria to join Islamic State, and is believed to still be with the group in Syria.

MHA said that it had previously shared Shahdan’s case confidentially with Singapore community leaders.

“Anyone who is in contact with him or knows of anyone in touch with him should report it to the authorities,” it said.

“The Government takes a very serious view of anyone who supports, promotes, undertakes or make preparations to undertake armed violence, regardless of how they rationalise such violence, or where the violence takes place.”

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam said that authorities had “expected this will happen sometime” and that over time, “we must assume more of this will happen”.

“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.”

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