SINGAPORE (Associated Press) — Police in Singapore have detained a preschool assistant who shared pro-Islamic State group materials online and intended to travel to Syria, their first arrest of a female Singaporean citizen alleged to be a sympathizer of the radical group, the Home Affairs Ministry said Monday.
The ministry issued a statement saying that 22-year-old Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari was arrested earlier this month under the country’s Internal Security Act, which allows for indefinite detention without trial. Singaporean authorities since 2015 have detained 14 Singaporean males suspected of being Islamic State group sympathizers.
Singapore’s immediate neighbors, Indonesia and Malaysia, have large Muslim populations, and hundreds of Islamic State group sympathizers are estimated to have traveled to Syria from the two countries. Singapore, an island nation of 5.6 million people, is a multicultural society dominated by ethnic Chinese. Ethnic Malays, who are predominantly Muslim, make up 15 percent of its citizens.