There is no indication of a heightened threat to Singapore specific to the Republic’s support to the coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), said Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean in Parliament on Wednesday (Jan 29).
However, the violence in Syria and Iraq continues and raises the overall threat level in every country, as ISIS still attracts extremists and encourages its overseas supporters to carry out attacks on home soil, using all means available, Mr Teo said.
He was responding to a question posed by MP Alex Yam Ziming on whether there were heightened threat to Singapore, and whether additional measures are required to address issues of self-radicalisation.
On the second question, Mr Teo said self-radicalisation is a problem as it can lead to “lone-wolf” attacks.
“We have had instances of Singaporeans becoming self-radicalised even before the Syrian conflict. ISIS has, however, worsened the threat through its widespread and effective use of social media to radicalise and recruit foreign fighters and supporters,” he said.
There is growing international recognition of the need to “deal upstream with the ideology that fuels jihadist terrorism”, said Mr Teo, who added Singapore will be hosting the East Asia Summit Symposium on Religious Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration in April this year.
“The Symposium will share best practices among participating countries and build capability to counter the terrorists’ radical ideology,” he said.