Wang Yuandongyi left Singapore late last year to fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The 23 yr old learnt about the Kurds in Syria and how they were facing attacks from ISIS. Two months later, he left Singapore, however en route he was stopped by the Ministry of Home Affairs and arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA).
The Ministry revealed that he was looking to escape from personal setbacks from a failed business venture. In December 2015, Wang connected with a Kurdish militia group online to express his interest to join them in fighting the ISIS. Part of the discussions include deciding on various travel routes to Syria with at least two others.
In January 2016, Wang left Singapore for a third country and planned to make his way to Turkey and eventually Syria.
More interestingly, Wang brought with him some Singapore Armed Forces issued military gear such as his uniform and boots. He was planning on using them on the battlefield.
Flags were raised by a whistleblower, his intentions were reported to the authorities. He is now placed under a Restriction Order, which limits his movements and activities.
The ministry said in its release that the Government “takes a stern view against anyone who supports, promotes, undertakes or makes preparations to undertake armed violence, regardless of how they rationalise such violence ideologically, or where the violence takes place”.
“In the case of Wang, even though his motivation to join the Kurdish militia group and fight against ISIS in Syria was not ideologically-driven, the fact remains that he intended to engage in an armed conflict overseas. “Geography does not mask the fact that such individuals would have demonstrated a dangerous tendency to support the use of violence,” it said.
“Their involvement in overseas conflicts can also jeopardise Singapore’s national interests, including our bilateral relations. They are deemed to pose a threat to Singapore’s security, and will be firmly dealt with in accordance with our laws,” the ministry added.