Singaporean authorities last month detained a 16-year-old boy of Indian descent for planning to attack two mosques in March, on the anniversary of New Zealand’s Christchurch attacks.
The teenager, a Protestant Christian, was planning to use a machete to attack Muslims at the two mosques. He was detained by the authorities under the Internal Security Act (ISA).
Singapore’s Internal Security Department (ISD) on Wednesday said that the accused is the youngest person to be dealt with under the ISA for terrorism-related activities.
He is the first detainee in the city-state to be inspired by far-right extremist ideology, the local media reported, citing the ISD release.
The ISD stated that the teen was influenced by the 2019 terror attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in which 51 people were killed.
“He was self-radicalised, motivated by a strong antipathy towards Islam and a fascination with violence,” the ISD said.
He watched the livestream video of the terrorist attack on the two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, 2019, and read the manifesto of the attacker, Brenton Tarrant, a white supremacist, it said.
“He had also watched Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) propaganda videos, and came to the erroneous conclusion that ISIS represented Islam, and that Islam called on its followers to kill non-believers,” it said.
Before the attack in March 2019, Tarrant, an Australian, had put up online posts that contained anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and Right-Wing extremist views. He had mounted a camera on his head, and live-streamed the attack. He received a life sentence in August 2020.
The ISD said it was “clear” from the teen’s attack plans and preparation that he was influenced by Tarrant’s actions and manifesto.
The teenager had chosen Assyafaah Mosque and Yusof Ishak Mosque as his targets because they were near his home, the ISD said, adding that he conducted online reconnaissance and research using Google Maps and Street View on both mosques to prepare for the attacks. He planned his travel route, identified mosque entrances and where to park his vehicle, the ISD said.
To prepare himself for the knife attack, the teen watched YouTube videos, it said, and was confident of hitting the arteries of his targets by randomly slashing at their neck and chest areas.
Source: India Today