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Overview: Singapore continued to identify counterterrorism as the nation’s top security policy  priority and has a comprehensive CT strategy based on global and regional trends. The strategy  included vigilant security measures, regional and international law enforcement cooperation,  efforts to counter radicalization to violence, and a campaign to prepare the populace for possible  attacks. Singapore was a committed, active, and effective CT partner in 2021. CT remained a  pillar of the security relationship between Singaporean and U.S. law enforcement and security  services. Cooperation on CT and information sharing continued during 2021. Singapore’s  domestic CT apparatus and its ability to detect, deter, and disrupt threats remained effective. The  government’s 2021 terrorism threat assessment report continued to identify global terrorist  networks and domestically “self-radicalized” individuals influenced by online material as the  prime terrorism threats.

2021 Terrorist Incidents:  There were no reported terrorist incidents in Singapore in 2021.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Singapore uses its Internal Security Act  (ISA) to arrest and detain suspected terrorists. The ISA authorizes the Ministry of Home Affairs  (MHA), with the consent of the president, to order arrests and detentions without a warrant, trial,  or full judicial due process, if it is determined that individuals pose a threat to national security. There were no changes to terrorism-related legislation in 2021, but amendments to the  Police Force Act passed in August enhanced the police’s operational capabilities, powers, and  readiness during a crisis such as terrorist incidents.

Singapore detained several individuals under ISA for terrorism-related activities in 2021,  including a 20-year-old Singaporean in March for reportedly plotting to attack and kill Jews at a  synagogue, the first plan that was allegedly motivated by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Singapore also detained a Singaporean woman for allegedly supporting ISIS. Singapore released  six Singaporeans who were previously detained under ISA, after assessing their rehabilitation  progress and determining the individuals no longer posed a security threat that required  preventive detention. Singapore allowed restriction orders against seven individuals to lapse.

Security forces continued to be on heightened alert and the Singapore Police Force and  Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) enhanced border security measures and  patrols. Singapore’s law enforcement and security services were capable of proactively detecting, deterring, and preventing acts of terrorism, including through interagency cooperation,  regular exercises, and information sharing.

Singapore maintains a “not if, but when” stance regarding the likelihood of terrorist attacks  within the country. The government’s SGSecure public awareness campaign, which aims to  enhance emergency preparedness and community resilience, has used online programs and training sessions during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Under SGSecure, different  government agencies also reached out to various segments of the community, such as schools,  workplaces, and religious organizations.

To detect possible terrorist movements by air into or transiting through the country, Singapore’s  primary border security agency, ICA, implemented Advance Passenger Information and  Passenger Name Record data collection in 2019. ICA enhanced its border capabilities by operationalizing a multimodal biometrics clearance concept to detect fraudulent travel  documents.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Singapore is a member of FATF and APG, and its  Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office is a member of the Egmont Group. Singapore  published its Terrorism Financing National Risk Assessment in 2020, identifying key CFT  threats and vulnerabilities. There were no legislative changes in 2021, but Parliament passed an  act that allowed the central bank to regulate cryptocurrencies, arguing they had a higher inherent  terrorism financing risk.

Singapore convicted and sentenced a Singaporean man under the Terrorism (Suppression of  Financing) Act in September to 46 months in prison for supporting ISIS with a total of $750. In  December a Bangladeshi national was charged for terrorism financing for allegedly transferring $650 to support ISIS. The Monetary Authority of Singapore conducted a series of  counterterrorism financing supervisory examinations of payment service providers, including  remittance agents in 2021 to assess the adequacy of existing controls.

Countering Violent Extremism: Through entities such as the International Centre for Political  Violence and Terrorism Research and the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG), Singapore  serves as a regional CVE hub. The government encourages interreligious and interethnic  dialogue through Interracial and Religious Confidence Circles, the interagency Aftercare Group,  and local community fora that bring leaders from Singapore’s religious and ethnic communities  together to discuss issues of concern and build trust. The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore  (MUIS), the Islamic authority in charge of Muslim affairs, maintains a social media presence and  holds outreach and educational events to counter terrorist propaganda and recruitment  efforts. MUIS manages the Asatizah Recognition Scheme that vets Islamic Religious Council  teachers and scholars in Singapore.

RRG, a volunteer organization made up of religious scholars and teachers, has had success in  counseling detainees held under the ISA through a comprehensive program involving religious  and psychological counseling. RRG also operates a resource and counseling center for the  Muslim community and held virtual community events and engagement sessions during the  COVID-19 pandemic, including to raise awareness about the threats of online radicalization to  violence. RRG and the Interagency Aftercare Group also conduct counter-ideology outreach  activities for students and youths. In February, the government announced it was adjusting its  rehabilitation program to include nonideological factors that led to radicalization to violence, as  ISA detainees get younger. In January, the government launched the Online Industry Safety and  Security Watch Group, which enabled the police and tech companies to share information to  counter terrorism, among other crimes, and the spread of violent extremist propaganda through  digital platforms.

International and Regional Cooperation: Singapore is an active participant in CT cooperation  efforts in ASEAN, ARF, ADMM, and APEC. The nation is a strong advocate for the ASEAN  “Our Eyes” regional initiative, which strives for ministerial-level CT information sharing.  Singapore participated in the Aqaba Process Virtual Meeting in September, INTERPOL’s  Project Pacific working group to discuss CT issues in November, and the Third Subregional  Meeting on Counterterrorism in December. Singapore operationalized and officially opened the  Counterterrorism Information Facility in 2021, a Singapore-led initiative to increase information  sharing among military and law enforcement agencies.

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