Two Self Radicalised Teens 15 & 16 Dealt With Under ISA : One Of Them Wanted To Behead Non-Muslims


Two teenagers in singapore were issued with an Order of Detention (OD) and Restriction Order (RO) under the Internal Security Act (ISA). One Of them wanted to behead non-muslims in popular tourist areas of Singapore.

A 15-year-old Singaporean boy who was self-radicalised by online terrorist propaganda, and supportive of Al Qaeda (AQ) and ISIS had considered conducting attacks in Singapore.

The teen also harboured the desire to establish an Islamic caliphate through violent means. He was arrested in November 2020 when he was was a Secondary Three student.

The other teen who is 16-year-old had been self-radicalised by online ISIS propaganda, and believed in the use of armed violence to establish an Islamic caliphate, according to ISD. The teen first attracted security notice in November 2020 when he was only 14 years old.

According to ISD (Internal Security Department), two self-radicalised Singaporean teens aged 15 & 16 were issued with an Order of Detention (OD) and Restriction Order (RO) under the Internal Security Act (ISA) respectively.


  • 15-year-old

The male Singaporean teenager, 15, was enrolled in Secondary Three when he was detained in November 2022 under the ISA. He is the youngest person ever dealt with for terrorism-related acts under the ISA.

Investigations revealed that he had been radicalised by online terrorism propaganda and had supported both ISIS and Al Qaeda. He had discussed carrying out terrorist attacks in Singapore and harboured the urge to impose a violent caliphate on Islam.

According to ISD, in early 2022, the youth came across podcasts by foreign segregationist preacher, Ismail Menk,2 while searching for religious content online. He avidly consumed these materials, and subsequently went onto other social media platforms in search of more religious knowledge. He was exposed to violent militant content including ISIS propaganda, and engaged in discussions with foreign personas who influenced him with their extremist beliefs.

“By mid-2022, he was deeply radicalised, having become convinced that armed violence was permissible against “disbelievers”.  In his view, “disbelievers” included Shia and Sufi Muslims, and non-Muslims. He also perceived those who “oppressed” Muslims, enforced secular laws or obstructed the establishment of an Islamic caliphate, as “disbelievers” who should be killed.  The youth harboured a strong desire to live in an Islamic caliphate governed by sharia (Islamic law)”.

“He had considered travelling to Afghanistan for this purpose but had yet to undertake any preparations at the point of arrest.  He was willing to support any group that was seeking to establish an Islamic caliphate in Singapore or abroad, including taking the bai’ah (pledge of allegiance) to the group, participating in armed jihad and undertaking any tasks assigned to him, including killing “disbelievers” and conducting suicide operations”. 

“He viewed dying as a martyr to be the responsibility of all Muslims”, according to ISD media release.

The young man expressed his support for ISIS, particularly its early 2014 actions when it was battling to build an Islamic caliphate; he also believed that the group’s killing of Shias and Yazidis was “justified.” On his social media accounts, he posted pro-ISIS content, and in the second part of 2022, he made an unsuccessful attempt to buy an ISIS flag on an online marketplace.


The young man’s loyalty to AQ resulted from his idolization of the organization’s late founder Osama bin Laden, whom he saw as a protector of Islam. He considered the 9/11 attacks to be a reasonable act of retribution against Americans who had killed “innocent Muslims” and claimed that AQ had protected Muslims from oppression.

He expressed his support for AQ online by defending the organization’s brutal tactics. The teenager apparently attempted to radicalise his peers by sending them horrific videos from AQ and ISIS, including execution footage. None of his peers, showed any interest in these extreme readings. Also, he made unsuccessful attempts to persuade two overseas online connections to join him in engaging in armed action, according to ISD.

The teenagers had considered carrying out knife assaults to behead non-Muslims in well-known tourist locations of Singapore in late 2022 because they were deeply committed to the idea that “disbelievers” should be put to death.

In addition to knife attacks, he reportedly considered carrying out suicide bombings and had fantasies of detonating himself. He claimed that the beheading and suicide bombing films posted online by ISIS served as the inspiration for these ideas. The young man was passionately committed to his radical beliefs at the time of his arrest, but he had not yet taken any action to carry out his attack plans.

  • 16-year-old

In November 2020, when he was just 14 years old, the teenager received security attention for the first time. ISD’s investigations at the time revealed that he was interested in far-right extremist content, including anti-Semitic and pro-neo-Nazi organisations whose ideologies encouraged a “race war” material. He was drawn to Islamic end-of-times predictions after watching YouTube videos, and he also discovered ISIS jihadi nasheeds (songs) on online music streaming platforms.

“The youth was assessed to be vulnerable to radicalisation and was cautioned by ISD to steer clear of extremist content online”, according to ISD.

Despite being warned, the youth persisted in consuming ISIS propaganda and participating in conversations with other social media users about ISIS. Over time, he came to believe in the legitimacy of ISIS and accepted its use of violence, such as beheadings, shootings, and suicide bombings, to establish an Islamic caliphate.

Using the online gaming platform Roblox, the youth joined a number of ISIS-themed servers where the virtual game environments mirrored actual ISIS battle zones, such as those in Syria and Marawi city in the southern Philippines. The young person had presented the bai’ah to an online “ISIS leader” since he saw himself as an ISIS member in these games. The young man was pleased with his positions as the “spokesperson” and “chief propagandist” for his ISIS faction in the video game.


By creating and posting three ISIS propaganda videos to social media between late 2021 and early 2022, the young man spread the word about his support for the terrorist organisation. The young man used footage from his Roblox game, which had digital ISIS groups attacking, and added ISIS nasheeds and ISIS flag graphics to make the propaganda videos.

Source : ISD


The two youths were online contacts of 18-year-old Singaporean Muhammad Irfan Danyal bin Mohamad Nor (Irfan; aged 18) who was detained under the ISA in December 2022, according to ISD.

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

“While all three individuals were self-radicalised separately, Irfan and the two youths subsequently became acquainted through the same extremist social media channel. They had not met physically nor discussed plans to travel together”, ISD revealed in its press release.

They discussed their radical ideologies and support for terrorist organisations in private online conversations. Irfan, for instance, talked to the 15-year-old boy about his support for ISIS and his desire to visit foreign combat areas and engage in violent fighting there. The two young people also gave Irfan advice on how to hide their extreme activities. For instance, the 15-year-old boy sent Irfan a document he had received from social media that detailed steps to preserve online operational security.

In addition to using secret web browsers to hide his online activity, the 16-year-old boy allegedly utilised code phrases to communicate with Irfan and other extremist characters online. Their extremist opinions and enthusiasm for armed violence were unknown to their family members.

Dangers of Online Radicalisation

“Extremist and terrorist groups are known to target youths for radicalisation and recruitment online as they may be more impressionable and easily influenced in their search for a sense of identity, purpose and belonging”.

“Terrorist groups have also misused online gaming platforms, for example, by disseminating their ideological beliefs through video games, using in-game communication features to recruit vulnerable gamers, and appropriating gaming culture to increase their reach to younger target audiences”.

“The cases involving Irfan and the two youths demonstrate yet again that extremist ideas continue to find resonance among Singaporeans. Since 2015, ISD has dealt with 11 self-radicalised Singaporean youths aged 20 or below under the ISA”.

All were radicalised online.

Youth Rehabilitation

The Internal Security Department (ISD) has stated that it takes a comprehensive and holistic approach to rehabilitate its detainees and restriction order supervisees. This approach includes religious, psychological, and social rehabilitation.

The 15-year-old detainee will receive intense religious counselling from two religious counsellors to address any religious misunderstandings that may have led him to support armed violence and terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda.

The 16-year-old supervisee will also receive the same religious counselling and participate in programmes offered by the Religious Rehabilitation Group’s Resource and Counselling Centre.

These programmes aim to deepen his understanding and appreciation of Singapore’s multi-racial and multi-religious context.

Furthermore, the case officers will frequently engage with the youths to assess their progress in rehabilitation and offer guidance where necessary, according to ISD.


[1]   Prior to this, a 16-year-old male Singaporean who was detained under the ISA in December 2020 was the youngest to be dealt with under the ISA; he was inspired by far-right extremist ideologies and had planned to conduct knife attacks against Muslims at two mosques in Singapore.

[2]   Ismail Menk is a Zimbabwean Salafi preacher who has been banned from preaching in Singapore since 2015, because of his segregationist teachings, which promote religious disharmony.

[3]   Irfan, a post-secondary student, was self-radicalised by online ISIS propaganda, and had made plans and preparations to undertake armed violence in Singapore and overseas, in support of ISIS.

[4]   For example, ISIS has released propaganda videos which contain scenes that parallel those from popular online video games.  Likewise, far-right extremists have repurposed elements from video games to amplify their violence, for example by livestreaming their attacks in the style of first person shooter (FPS) video games, such as in the case of the Christchurch, New Zealand attack and the Halle, Germany attack, in 2019.  In January 2023, a 19-year-old British teenager was sentenced to more than 11 years’ imprisonment in UK for posting online videos promoting racist violence, which were linked to two mass killings in the US, including the mass shooting carried out by an 18-year-old self-declared white supremacist at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York in May 2022.

Join our Telegram channel to get regular alerts and trending news updates.

Images from ISD

Leave a Reply

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

Related Posts