Singaporean sentenced to 33 months in jail for financing IS terrorist

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A Singaporean man, who financed an Islamic State terrorist in Turkey, was on Tuesday sentenced to 33 months in jail. (Representation) (File)

A Singaporean man, who financed an Islamic State terrorist in Turkey, was on Tuesday sentenced to 33 months in jail. Imran Kassim, 36, was convicted of one count of funding Islamic State (IS) propaganda by sending SGD450 (USD 333) to a man named Mohamad Alsaied Alhmidan in Turkey on October 31, 2014, a report in Channel News Asia said.

District Judge Seah Chi-Ling found Kassim guilty based on his statements to officers, his admissions in court and a remittance advice and receipt. "First, he claims he is not subject to Singapore law, being subject instead to Islamic Sharia law," the judge said.

Kassim, in his statements, admitted that he had sent the money in response to a Facebook post, as he believed the donation would benefit the page holder, whose work was to get support for IS.

He said that he donated the money because it would "help spread support for IS", gather more supporters for the terror outfit and raise awareness for it.

Responding to Kassim's allegations that there were inconsistencies and "gross exaggerations" in the way the IS is portrayed and that opponents of IS have themselves committed atrocities, the judge said that even if these facts were proven, his arguments were not a defense in criminal law.

The prosecution asked for a sentence of 32 to 33 months in jail, saying that while Kassim was the first offender to claim trial for a terror financing offense, he was not the first to be prosecuted.

The prosecution listed factors including how he carried out the offense in a deliberate fashion, donated to "one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations in the world", and displayed "no remorse".

"He does not recognize Singapore law, despite being a Singaporean who has enjoyed Singaporean citizenship his entire life," the prosecution said.

"Even going so far as to say that he transferred the money to protest Singapore's participation in the war against IS," the report said.

The prosecution highlighted that the donations were part of his larger, long-standing plans to support the IS.