Only two years and nine months jail for Singaporean who sent $450 to the Islamic State
Article RadarTHIS ARTICLE CONNECT:
- Imran Kassim Imran Kassim is the first Singaporean to be charged with terrorism...[+]
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: singapore;
A Singaporean who transferred S$450 (RM1,358) to benefit the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis), then claimed trial as he did not recognise the republic’s laws, was sentenced to two years and nine months behind bars today .
More details of how Imran Kassim sent the money to an individual in Turkey in 2014 to publish Isis propaganda emerged in a district court as well.
The 36-year-old former managing director of a logistics firm was found guilty of terrorism financing under the Terrorism (Suppression of Finance) Act today.
During his one-day trial yesterday, he told the court that he recognised only Syariah (Islamic) law and wanted to benefit Isis through his actions.
In convicting Imran, who was detained under the Internal Security Act in August 2017, District Judge Seah Chi-Ling found that his defence was “clearly without basis in our laws.”
Imran had further argued that Singapore’s stance against Isis comprised “a lot of inconsistencies, hyperbole and gross exaggeration,” and that Isis’ opponents have themselves committed atrocities.
“Even if this was proven, which has not been, they do not give rise to a known defence in criminal law,” the judge added.
When asked if he had anything to say in mitigation, Imran replied: “I think I’ve said everything I had to say yesterday.”
For providing property and services for terrorist purposes, he could have been jailed for up to 10 years, fined up to S$500,000, or both.
He became the second Singaporean to be dealt with for terrorism financing, after 35-year-old Ahmed Hussein Abdul Kadir Sheik Uduman was jailed for two-and-a-half years last year for giving more than S$1,000 to a Jamaican preacher who had been imprisoned for stirring racial hatred.
He had begun taking an interest in Isis since 2013 and followed their videos, including those on executions, Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPP) Nicholas Khoo and Foo Shi Hao revealed while asking for the sentence imposed.
After unsuccessfully trying to join Isis in Syria in early 2014 under the cover of providing humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees, he pledged his allegiance to the group on his Facebook account in July that year.
A few months later, he saw a call for donations posted by the Turkish individual — Mohamad Alsaied Alhmidan, known to Imran as Aidin — on Facebook.
When he told Aidin he wanted to donate money to Isis, Aidin told him to download an encrypted mobile application and gave him other remittance details.
Imran remitted the money through a Western Union branch in Tampines on Oct 31, 2014. He then deleted the app as he wanted to hide evidence of his transfer and wanted to evade detection, he told the authorities in his statements after being detained.
DPP Khoo cited this as an aggravating factor and said that Imran published pro-Isis articles on at least three Facebook pages, so his friends could see them.
“Seen in the context of the accused’s persistent support for Isis, his transfer of S$450 to Aidin was clearly no aberration. Rather, it was done in a deliberate fashion, consistent with the accused’s unabashed and unrepentant support for Isis, which persists to this very day,” the prosecutor added.
Imran also displayed no remorse, DPP Khoo pointed out, by repeatedly stating during the trial that he does not recognise Singapore law “despite being a Singaporean who has enjoyed the benefits of his Singapore citizenship his entire life.”
Imran’s younger brother, who did not wish to be named, told reporters after the hearing that he was the “kindest person I know.”
“I cannot remember a time when he raised his voice or laid a hand on me. He’s a very principled man — he will never lie, not even a harmless white lie, nor will he intentionally mislead people,” he said.
Nevertheless, he said that the family stands with Singapore against his actions.
“He wanted to protect people — save civilians and not kill them — but he has sided with the enemy of Singapore who uses fear, intimidation and manipulation as a means to their end. We fully reject Isis as an organisation,” the brother added.