Singapore arrests eight Bangladeshis accused of terror plot

Story highlights

  • The eight men were arrested under the Internal Security Act
  • They were accused of plotting attacks in Bangladesh

(CNN)Singapore has arrested eight Bangladeshi men accused of plotting terror attacks in Bangladesh.

According to a statement from the Singaporean government, the men were members of the group "Islamic State in Bangladesh" -- or ISB -- and planned to travel to Syria to join ISIS.
    When they decided it would be too difficult to make the journey to Syria, they focused their plans on overthrowing the Bangladesh government and bringing it "under ISIS' self-declared caliphate."
    Bomb-making documents, extremist recruitment material and finances raised to purchase firearms were all seized by the Singaporean government, the statement said.
    The group had reportedly identified several possible targets in Bangladesh, but there was no indication that Singapore was a potential target.
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    The men, aged 26 to 34, were all working legally in the construction and marine industries. They were arrested under the Internal Security Act, which allows the government to detain individuals for up to two years without court proceedings.
    Singapore has a large South Asian population working in its construction industry and the rise of extremism in the region is an increasing cause for concern for the Singaporean government.
    In January, the city-state announced it had arrested 27 Bangladeshi workers under the Internal Security Act, the first major sweep of foreign terror suspects.
    Twenty-six of the men were deported, accused of radicalization and supporting militant Islam. The remaining suspect was serving a jail sentence in Singapore for attempting to "leave via illegal and clandestine means," according to a statement from the Singapore government.
    The statement said a significant amount of extremist material was seized from the group, including footage of children undergoing training in military camps, and graphic images and instructions detailing how to conduct "silent killings."