SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore has detained two “self-radicalized” teenagers, one of whom wanted to join Islamic State militants in Syria, under an internal security law that allows for detention without trial for two years, the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Wednesday.
Authorities in prosperous, multi-ethnic Singapore broke up plots for militant attacks more than a decade ago, after the Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks on the United States.
Recently, concern has been growing in countries around the world about individuals joining the cause of the Islamic State (IS).
The ministry identified one of the suspects as M Arifil Azim Putra Norja‘i, 19, and said he was detained in April for “terrorism-related activities”.
He had said he intended to carry out attacks in Singapore if he was not able to join the Islamic State in Syria, it said.
The ministry did not identify the other teenager who it said was 17 and was arrested this month.
Under the Internal Security Act, the government is able to place individuals suspected of being a security threat under preventive detention for up to two years without trial.
IS controls swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, where it has proclaimed a caliphate to rule over all Muslims according to strict mediaeval precepts.
Singapore’s northern neighbor, Malaysia, arrested dozens of people suspected of having links to the IS in April.
Indonesia’s military has launched a counter-terrorism operation to track down militants there with links to IS.
Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Robert Birsel