Two foreign workers get jail for terror funding

Two Bangladeshi workers detained in April under the Internal Security Act were yesterday jailed for financing terrorism.

Mamun Leakot Ali, 30, was given 21/2 years, while Zzaman Daulat, 34, will face two years behind bars.

Both were part of a group of six workers charged under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act in May.

Calling for deterrent sentences, DPP Nicholas Khoo said the two men could have thought the worst punishment they would face for their actions would be repatriation, but the courts needed to send a message that such crimes would be “roundly condemned”.

He added that “great violence can be perpetrated with relatively small amounts of money”.

The men were part of a group called the Islamic State in Bangladesh (ISB). The duo had provided between $200 and $500 to fund terrorist attacks in their home country.

Both men had initially claimed trial, but yesterday, they pleaded guilty and asked the court for leniency.

Lawyers Noor Marican and Ramesh Tiwary represented both men for free. Their other four compatriots had pleaded guilty earlier and were jailed between two and five years last month.

The court heard that Mamun was the ISB’s deputy leader while Zzaman was in the group’s security council.

The ISB’s goal was to topple the Bangladesh government, set up an Islamic state and bring it under the self-declared caliphate of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The authorities had found in their possession a list of targets in Bangladesh and bomb-making manuals.

Mr Marican told the court both his clients were deeply apologetic to the people of Singapore for causing fear and harm. He added that they were now “deeply ashamed” for bringing disrepute to Islam.

Speaking for both men, Mr Marican said: “He is a Muslim, he believes in Islam and he realises that these are not teachings of his religion… It is not the way of Islam.”

In passing sentence, District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt said any act in support of terrorism must be “sufficiently deterred”.

“For the safety and security of their home country and that of the wider international community, I hope that they truly realise that they have been misguided and will shed their extreme ideology.”

Their sentences will be backdated to May 27, when they were first charged in court.

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