Wednesday, 17 July 2013

US Country Reports on Terrorism - SG Govt response.

TODAY reported this:

Singapore ‘surprised and disappointed’ by US comments on counter-terrorism cooperation

17 July 2013

SINGAPORE — The Government today (July 17) said it is “surprised and disappointed” by the comments made about Singapore in the United States Department of State’s 2012 Country Reports on Terrorism.

“This is particularly so given the close relationship and cooperation between our countries and agencies in the area of counter-terrorism,” said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in a joint statement.

The report, which was submitted on May 30 to the US congress, outlined Singapore’s counter-terrorism efforts last year.

It criticised the Republic’s bilateral and multilateral engagement on counter-terrorism intelligence and law enforcement cooperation as “inconsistent and marked by a transactional mindset”.

The US said this “impeded the development of broad, deep, and predictable agency-to-agency relationships”.

“While some agencies have had success from time to time, Singapore appeared to provide selective cooperation dependent upon the issue,” added the report.

In response, MHA and MFA said the report “does not accurately describe the relations that we have with US agencies involved in counter-terrorism matters”.

The ministries stressed that the report showed “a lack of understanding” of Singapore’s “deep commitment” towards international cooperation.

“For cooperation to work well, parties should not only take into account mutual interests, but also mutual respect and trust,” they added.

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The report (linked and extracted below) is written in "bureaucratese". I will attempt to translate some terms and phrases (from the US perspective... is there any other?).

Transactional mindset: "Singapore won't cooperate without getting something in return! They don't seem to realise that "cooperation" with the US of fucking A means you do what we tell you and then we will look upon you kindly in future. Not haggle with us on a quid pro fucking quo! The arrogance of those displaced (mostly) chinks!"

Predictable agency-to-agency relationships: "It is hard to predict what Singapore will do, because they won't listen to us without question!"

Selective cooperation dependent upon the issue: "Singapore won't jump when we ask them to! Instead they ask, why should we? Don't they realise we are the gawd-damn US of fucking A? When we say, "jump", you're suppose to ask, "how high", not "why?""

Among... individuals released from detention, there were no reported cases of recidivism...: "Singapore's programme to de-radicalise terrorist is 100% successful... so far... with their transactional mindset and selective cooperation, we cannot predict how long this unbroken success will last."

SG Govt shouldn't be upset. They should just explain why the US have their panties in a bunch. They just upset cause this upstart of a little nation won't play ball without rules.

And overall, other than a few petty complaints about SG's exercise of independent thinking, the report is NOT unfavourable. SG Govt should be less sensitive.

Extract from the US Report:

Overview: In 2012, Singapore’s bilateral and multilateral engagement on counterterrorism intelligence and law enforcement cooperation was inconsistent and marked by a transactional mindset that impeded the development of broad, deep, and predictable agency-to-agency relationships. While some agencies have had success from time to time, Singapore appeared to provide selective cooperation dependent upon the issue.
As of December, Singapore had detained 16 terrorist suspects. Detainees included members of Jemaah Islamiya (JI), who had plotted to carry out attacks in Singapore in the past, and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Two persons with links to terrorist groups were newly detained in 2012. In 2012, Singapore released 23 persons on Restriction Orders (RO) and one on Suspension Direction (SD). Detainees released on ROs and SDs were monitored by the Singapore authorities and required to report to authorities on a regular basis.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Singapore used its Internal Security Act (ISA) to arrest and detain suspected terrorists without trial. The ISA authorizes the Minister for Home Affairs (MHA), with the consent of the president, to order detention without judicial review if it is determined that a person poses a threat to national security. The initial detention may be for up to two years, and the MHA may renew the detention for an unlimited number of additional periods up to two years at a time with the president’s consent.
Singapore’s 2012 law enforcement actions included:
• In February, Singapore released a member of JI, Jumari bin Kamdi, who was detained under the ISA in January 2011. According to an MHA press release, he was cooperative with investigators, and it was assessed that he no longer posed a security threat that required further detention.
• In February, Singapore detained JI member Abd Rahim Abdul Rahman. He attended terrorist training in Afghanistan with al-Qa’ida (AQ) in 1999 and 2000. Rahman was arrested in Malaysia in February 2012 and deported to Singapore.
• In May, Singapore detained JI member Husaini Ismail. He was arrested in Indonesia in June 2009 for immigration violations and deported to Singapore after his release in May. He attended terrorist training in Afghanistan with AQ in 1999 and 2000. According to the MHA, both he and Rahman were actively involved in reconnoitering several potential local and foreign targets in Singapore for the purpose of a terrorist attack.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Singapore is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, a FATF-style regional body. There were no assets frozen or confiscated for terrorist finance-related crimes. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes:
Regional and International Cooperation: In August, the Republic of Singapore Navy participated in the annual Southeast Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism exercise, together with the U.S. Navy and the navies of Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. Singapore was an active participant in ASEAN and is a member of the Proliferation Security Initiative.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Singapore maintained a de-radicalization program that focused on countering detainees' extremist ideology. Singapore enlists the support of religious teachers and scholars to study JI's ideology, develops teachings to counter the group's spread within Singapore's Muslim community, and provides counseling to detainees. Religious counseling for detainees continues after release. Among those individuals released from detention, there were no reported cases of recidivism.

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