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Two Singaporean members of JI Karachi Cell detained

Two Singaporean members of a Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) cell in Karachi, MUHAMMAD ARIF BIN NAHARUDIN (20 years old) and MUHAMMAD AMIN BIN MOHAMED YUNOS (21 years old), were arrested by the Internal Security Department in Singapore on 23 and 25 Oct 2003 respectively for terrorism-related activities.

Orders of Detention under the Internal Security Act have been issued against them on 9 Nov 2003.

Both Arif and Amin were members of a JI cell in Karachi code-named "Al-Ghuraba" (meaning "foreigners"). The cell was set up in 1999 by Indonesian JI operations commander, Hambali, for the purpose of developing young JI members to become trained operatives and future leaders in the JI.

There were also indications that Hambali was prepared to assign some of them to the Al-Qaeda for operations. The cell was originally headed by Abdul Rahim, the son of JIís amir Abu Bakar Bashir. When he left Karachi, Abdul Rahim handed the leadership of the cell to Rusman Gunawan, the brother of Hambali.

Arif and Amin were students of the JIís Madrasah Luqmanul Hakiem in Ulu Tiram, Johor. Arif studied there from 1995 to 1999 while Amin studied there from 1993 to 1998. Amin later spent a year in 1999 at the JIís other branch of the Madrasah Luqmanul Hakiem in Kelantan.

Both Arif and Amin were among several students who were talent-spotted by the JI leadership to be groomed to become the next generation of key operatives and leaders in the JI organisation. Arifís father is a Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) member. Aminís father is a JI member. Both fathers are resident in Johor, Malaysia.

The JI leadership sent Arif to a university in Karachi where he joined the JI Al Ghuraba cell. During his university holidays in mid-2000 and mid-2001, he was sent for training with the Kashmiri militant group, Laskar-e-Tayyiba (LeT).

At the LeT camps, Arif was taught how to handle weapons, conduct operational surveillance and make improvised explosives. Arif remained with the LeT for 4 months after his second training stint to serve as an interpreter for a group of Indonesians who had then arrived for military training.

On returning to Karachi, he re-joined the JIís Al Ghuraba cell in Karachi and participated with cell members in conducting reconnaissance of specific targets as part of the planning of a possible terrorist operation.

Amin was sent by the JI leadership to Kandahar soon after his arrival in Pakistan. In Kandahar, he undertook full-time military training at the Al-Qaedaís Camp Farouq. He completed at least 5 different training courses including operational surveillance, weapons-handling, the use of explosive materials and urban warfare.

His last course on "urban warfare" was abruptly terminated when the US-led coalition forces attacked Afghanistan. He was deployed to join in the fighting against the Northern Alliance but later withdrawn along with other fighters after 2-3 weeks, on the orders of Taleban leader Mullah Omar. He then returned to Karachi to join the other members of the Al-Ghuraba cell there.

Source: Singapore Government Press Release 18 Dec 2003




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21 December 2003

Singapore Time