Police in Singapore have thwarted a terrorist attack they allege was planned by 16-year-old right wing extremist, who wanted to copy the Christchurch mosque massacre.
The high school student was making active preparations for an assault on Muslim places of worship when he was arrested by the country’s Internal Security Department in December, it’s been alleged.
Two mosques in Singapore were allegedly targets and the teen planned to use a machete to murder worshippers on March 15 to coincide with the two-year anniversary of the Christchurch attack.
An Australian-born white supremacist, who news.com.au has chosen not to name out of respect for his victims, opened fire at two mosques in the New Zealand city in 2019, killing 51 people.
A statement by Singaporean authorities said it was clear from alleged attack plans and preparations that the youth was influenced by the man.
“He planned to carry out his attacks on March 15, 2021, the anniversary of the Christchurch attacks. The youth intended to drive between the two attack sites, and therefore devised a plan to procure a vehicle to use during the attack.”
The teen, identified as a Protestant Christian of Indian descent, also purchased a tactical vest and intended to cover it with right-wing extremist symbols.
He wanted to modify it so that he could strap on his mobile device to livestream the attack, it has been alleged.
He watched the live-streamed video of the Christchurch mosque attacks and read the terrorist’s online manifesto, the statement said.
“He was self-radicalised, motivated by a strong antipathy towards Islam and a fascination with violence.
“He had also watched Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) propaganda videos.”
Police believe he chose a knife because of difficulty obtaining a firearm under strict gun control laws.
Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam told Anadolu Agency the arrest was “worrying.”
“It’s also worrying that we are picking up young people,” he said. “It’s the first case we have had of right-wing extremists targeting Muslims.
“Violent impulses, I’ve said this many times, is not restricted to any particular racial group or religious group. It can occur among anyone.
“It’s really a question of being exposed to hate speech and then being influenced by it.”
The Christchurch terrorist was last year sentenced to life in prison without the prospect of parole.
Parts of this story originally appeared in the NZ Herald and are reproduced here with permission