(AFP) — A radicalized Singaporean Muslim has been arrested for planning a deadly stabbing spree against Jews, officials said Wednesday.
Such cases are rare in multi-ethnic Singapore, where different religious and ethnic groups generally live peacefully side by side.
Amirull Ali, 20, planned to ambush and kill at least three Jewish men as they left a synagogue after prayers, security officials said.
He became radicalized after researching the Israeli-Palestinian conflict online and planned to travel to Gaza in the Palestinian territories to join Islamic terror group Hamas’s military wing, they said.
“Amirull was very serious, he had made detailed preparations, he had a knife prepared for his attack,” Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam told local media.
“He decided to target the abdomen area because that’s where the heavy bleeding will cause quick death,” the minister said.
But Amirull — who had been doing compulsory national service as an administrative support assistant — shelved his plans as he was uncertain whether he would attain martyrdom.
Nevertheless, the defense ministry became suspicious and raised the alarm, leading to his arrest this month.
Amirull was detained under the Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial for up to two years.
In December, authorities detained a 16-year-old who planned to attack two mosques in Singapore after being influenced by a massacre of Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Singapore, a city-state of 5.7 million, is mostly ethnic Chinese but is also home to a sizable ethnic-Malay Muslim minority. Its Jewish population is tiny, numbering only around 2,500, according to local media.