A 38-year-old teacher who wanted to travel to Gaza to carry out “armed violence” arrested in Singapore : Read Full Story

A MOE’s teacher in Singapore was detained last year under the Internal Security Act.

The 38-year-old man named Mohamed Khairul Riduan bin Mohamed Sarip (Khairul) was arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in October 2022.

According to Ministry Of Home Affairs, “Khairul was self-radicalised and ready to travel to Gaza, Palestine under the guise of humanitarian aid to join HAMAS and its military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades (AQB), in armed combat against the Israel Defence Forces (IDF)”.

“Khairul is the second person to be detained under the ISA for wanting to carry out armed violence because he was affected by the Israel-Palestine conflict”.

After viewing Facebook videos of alleged Israeli brutality against Palestinians, especially women and children, in 2007, Khairul became interested in the Israel-Palestine issue.

“He developed a strong desire to defend and support the Muslims in Gaza out of deep sympathy for them. His subsequent online research into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict entrenched his belief that the Israelis, particularly the IDF, were oppressing the Palestinians”, according to MHA.

Khairul saw videos by radical foreign preachers Ahmed Deedat and Zakir Naik2 that explored the idea of armed jihad in defence of Islam, which furthered his conviction that it was necessary to defend the Palestinians with force.

“Khairul first considered travelling to Gaza in 2012 after coming across a poster on Facebook titled Panggilan Jihad! (Call to Jihad!), which called for volunteers for a humanitarian mission to Gaza”.

“The poster also indicated that HAMAS and AQB were waiting for the volunteers. While Khairul did not follow through on his intent in 2012, he would feel compelled to travel to Gaza whenever the conflict escalated – for instance in 2014 and 2021”.

“He did not eventually do so both times due to then ongoing travel restrictions.3 Nonetheless, Khairul continues to harbour hopes of travelling to Gaza, and admitted that he would be motivated to act should the situation deteriorate further”.

Preparing To Go To Gaza for Armed Jihad :

According to MHA, since 2012, Khairul had made preparations to travel to Gaza with the aim of establishing contact with HAMAS and AQB upon his arrival. He researched travel routes and flights to Gaza, and sought the advice of foreign individuals who were either based in or intended to travel to Gaza.

To avoid security scrutiny, Khairul planned to travel to Gaza under the guise of providing humanitarian aid.

Khairul also researched intensively into HAMAS and AQB, including viewing materials relating to their tactics and operations.

He believed that HAMAS and AQB were the legitimate defenders of the Palestinians and that their acts of violence against the IDF were justified in Islam. He was willing to abide by any instructions given by HAMAS, including armed combat, kidnapping, and even executing Prisoners of War. He was confident of applying the weapons-handling skills and fieldcraft acquired during his National Service to engage in armed combat, acc to MHA.

“Khairul was certain that he would achieve martyrdom if he were to die while performing armed jihad. He also attempted to learn Arabic to facilitate communication with HAMAS and AQB soldiers when in Gaza. He was also willing to provide medical aid to HAMAS and AQB soldiers using the basic first-aid skills he had acquired”.

“Khairul contemplated being a spokesperson and international recruiter for HAMAS, and was prepared to facilitate the travel of any individuals interested in joining the armed conflict”.

He believed that it was his religious obligation to “spread the truth” about the conflict, and intended to report on the situation in Gaza if he managed to travel there. He was convinced that providing first-hand updates of the conflict on social media would increase the credibility of his postings and encourage others to join HAMAS.


In addition to his support for armed conflict, Khairul also holds segregationist and extreme religious views. He has unsuccessfully tried to persuade his family members and children to share these views. For example, he posted videos of lectures by Zakir on his Facebook page, one of which had Zakir saying that Muslims shouldn’t wish Christians a “Merry Christmas.” Additionally, he prevented his kids from celebrating birthdays, MHA added in its press release.

He Was Alone In This :

According to ISD’s investigation to-date shows that Khairul had acted alone. There was no sign that he tried to involve others in his plans to travel to Gaza to carry out armed violence.

There is also no indication thus far that Khairul harboured any intention to carry out attacks in Singapore.

ISD will take firm action against any individual in Singapore who supports, promotes, undertakes or makes preparations to undertake armed violence, regardless of how they rationalise such violence, or where the violence takes place. This is particularly so if the person involved is a public servant.

In Khairul’s case, he was convinced that the use of violence against the IDF and “oppressors” of Muslims is justified, and was prepared to participate in armed combat against them alongside HAMAS and AQB, and to die as a martyr if necessary.

“While his previous attempts did not materialise due to circumstances beyond his control, Khairul remains committed to making his way to Gaza should there be another escalation in the conflict there”.

“Given his deeply entrenched radical beliefs and support for armed violence, Khairul poses an imminent threat and has been issued an Order of Detention under the Internal Security Act with effect from 30 Nov 2022”.


It is important for the public to remain vigilant to signs that someone around us may have become radicalised, so that we can intervene early to avert a tragedy. Possible signs of radicalisation include, but are not limited to, the following:

a) avid consumption of radical materials;

b) espousing an “us versus them” thinking (e.g. displaying hatred or intolerance towards people of other races or religions);

c) expressing support for terrorist or militant groups;

d) expressing interest to travel to and participate in an overseas conflict; and

e) stating intention to commit terrorist violence.

Anyone who knows or suspects that a person has been radicalised should promptly contact the ISD Counter-Terrorism Centre hotline 1800-2626-473 (1800-2626-ISD).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts