A teenager in Singapore has been detained under the country’s strict Internal Security Act (ISA) for plotting to kill Muslims in two mosques on March 15, a date set aside for the anniversary of the deadly 2019 Christchurch attacks.
The 16-year-old student, who is a Protestant Christian of Indian ethnicity, is the youngest to be detained under such law, the ministry of home affairs (MOHA) said in a statement, adding that the teenager was inspired by a far-right extremist ideology.
“He was found to have made detailed plans and preparations to conduct terrorist attacks using a machete against Muslims at two mosques in Singapore, the ministry said.
The ISA law allows for detention without trial.
The teenager had mapped out his route and chosen Assyafaah Mosque and Yusof Ishak Mosque as his targets near his home in northern Singapore, the ministry said, adding that he also had the intention of live-streaming his planned attack.
“He was self-radicalised, motivated by a strong antipathy towards Islam and a fascination with violence.
“He had also watched Islamic State (ISIS) propaganda videos, and came to the erroneous conclusion that ISIS represented Islam and that Islam called on its followers to kill non-believers, the statement said referring to the ISIL group.
The ministry said the teen was clearly influenced by Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant who shot dead 51 Muslims attending Friday prayers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15, 2019. He had also streamed the shooting live on Facebook.
Tarrant was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole last year in August.
The MOHA said in the statement that the teenager admitted during the investigation that he could only foresee two outcomes to his plan, that he is arrested before he is able to carry out the attacks, or he executes the plan and is thereafter killed by the police.