Tuesday, 19 July 2016

PM Lee Highlights Severity of Terror Threat


The spate of terror attacks around the world underscores the severity of the terror threat, and Singapore cannot assume it will be spared, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday (16 Jul)

Speaking to Singapore reporters at the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) summit, he said, "We know that terrorists have the intention to attack Singapore. They have not succeeded so far, but one day they may breach our safety net and enter Singapore, so we need to be prepared."

When asked about the attack in Nice on Thursday (14 Jul), he said the mode of attack was shocking but not surprising as terrorists have used vehicles to ram into crowds.


Spate of attacks 'underlines severity of threat'

The spate of terror attacks around the world - most recently in Nice, France, which left 84 dead and many more injured - underscores the severity of the terror threat, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday. And Singapore cannot assume it will be spared from an attack, he added. "We know that terrorists have the intention to attack Singapore. They have not succeeded so far, but one day they may breach our safety net and enter Singapore, so we need to be prepared."

Mr Lee was speaking to Singapore reporters on the last day of his first official visit to Mongolia, where he met the country's leaders and attended the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) summit.

When asked about last Thursday's attack in Nice, in which a 31-year-old man ploughed a truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day, Mr Lee said the mode of attack was shocking but not surprising as terrorists have used vehicles to ram into crowds.


Singaporeans must 'stand united in face of terror threat'
Children performing at the 12th Punggol North Racial & Religious Harmony Street Parade and Family Carnival, attended by some 12,000 residents, in Punggol Field Road yesterday. FOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Singaporeans should continue to stand united & live in harmony at a time when terror attacks across the world seek to divide societies, 3 ministers said yesterday.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean emphasised the importance of racial and religious harmony in preventing, and dealing with, a possible terror attack here.

"We focus on what we have in common and what unites us as Singaporeans, rather than be drawn apart by what makes us different," he told residents in a speech at the 12th Punggol North Racial and Religious Harmony Street Parade and Family Carnival.

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SAFE and SECURE ASIA Facebook 22 hrs

*Terror threat has become more serious, must be fought on multiple fronts: PM Lee*

The Prime Minister highlighted three ways to combat the threat: First, through greater cooperation internationally and regionally - for example, in the area of intelligence sharing.

Secondly, taking a broader approach beyond security operations. This means cooperating to cut funding for ISIS and other terrorist groups, countering their radical ideology, and securing borders so that terrorists and foreign fighters are unable to travel.

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PM Lee: Singapore has to be prepared that terrorists may breach its safety net
Investigators continue to work at the scene near the heavy truck that ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores who were celebrating the Bastille Day Jul 14 National holiday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice

The spate of terror attacks around the world - most recently in Nice, France, which left 84 dead and many more injured -- underscores the severity of the terror threat, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday. And Singapore cannot assume it will be spared from an attack, he added. "We know that terrorists have the intention to attack Singapore. They have not succeeded so far, but one day they may breach our safety net and enter Singapore, so we need to be prepared."

Mr Lee was speaking to Singapore reporters on the last day of his 1st official visit to Mongolia, where he met the country's leaders and attended the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) summit.

When asked about last Thursday's attack in Nice, in which a 31-yr-old man ploughed a truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day, Mr Lee said the mode of attack was shocking but not surprising as terrorists have used vehicles to ram into crowds.

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Singapore has to be prepared that terrorists may one day breach its safety net: PM Lee

Mr Lee said: "The 1st time it happens, it will still be a shock, we must expect that. We just have to prepare as well as we can so that when it happens, we have the best chance of coming through and standing and not disintegrating."

He also spoke on terrorism at the ASEM leaders' retreat yesterday, a day after 51 Asian and European countries issued a joint statement condemning the recent attacks.

The meeting's chairman, Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj, reaffirmed ASEM leaders' resolve to combat terrorism financing and terror groups' abuse of the Internet.

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Terror threat has become more serious, must be fought on multiple fronts: PM Lee

The nature of the attack in Nice, France was shocking, but not surprising as terrorists have previously employed such methods of using vehicles to plough through crowds, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on Sat (Jul 13) Mr Lee said that while security hardware can be ramped up -- like putting up bollards, scans, and checks -- it is always possible for someone to break through. “You can prevent a bomber, you can prevent somebody who comes with a gun, but what do you do with somebody who takes a kitchen knife or somebody who takes a car or a truck?” he said.

At the Leaders' Retreat on the final day of ASEM, Mr Lee spoke on the need to combat terrorism on multiple fronts, noting that in recent years, the threat of terrorism has become more serious – in particular, that from ISIS. The group controls territory, and is thus able to draw foreign fighters, he said.

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Malls, crowded places advised to gear up for terror threats

In recent weeks, attacks have taken place at a nightclub in Orlando, a restaurant in Dhaka, and on crowds at a promenade in Nice.

With Singapore also facing the threat of terrorism, the police want some of the more vulnerable and crowded establishments here – especially retail malls – to shore up their defences.

“Moving forward, the police will be engaging the management of commercial buildings, including retail malls, to develop contingency plans and conduct joint exercises to enhance their readiness to deal with any attack,” said Mr Melvin Yong, an MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC.

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S’poreans must use hearts and minds to counter terror: DPM
Punggol residents, along with participating groups, at the Punggol North Racial and Religious Harmony Street Parade on July 17. This uniquely Punggol North festival is an annual grassroots initiative since 2005. It celebrates the dynamism of Singapore’s multi-racial society. The festival also aims to promote racial harmony, inter-faith understanding, as well as religious harmony among residents in Punggol North. Foto: Ooi Boon Keong/TODAY

Short of locking down society and preventing people from living as normally as possible, it is impossible to stop every possible way of executing a terror attack, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said on Sunday (July 17), 3 days after a terrorist struck Nice in France.

Rather, the solution to countering extremism must come from the hearts and minds of Singaporeans, deciding that “we want to live together in peace and harmony and that we’ll make sure that our society, our neighbourhoods remain that way”, added Mr Teo.

Speaking at an annual street parade and carnival to celebrate racial and religious harmony in Punggol North, he urged people who know of anyone who may be going astray, whether it be a family member, friend or co-worker, to notify the authorities.

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Focus on similarities not differences: DPM Teo

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean has urged Singaporeans to focus on what they have in common and not be drawn apart by their differences.

Mr Teo's comments come days after the deadly attack in Nice & other recent terror strikes around the world.

He was speaking at an annual event in Punggol on Sunday (Jul 17), which promotes unity among Singaporeans.

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A nation's shield
As the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) celebrates its 50th birthday, here is a look at some of the things it has done over the past year in defending the nation

In a reply to a Parliamentary Question last November on Singapore joining the multinational coalition to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen said: "Singapore must resolutely oppose the spread of terrorism in order to safeguard our security here. ISIS exports terrorism to our region, whether by sending foreign terrorists to carry out terrorist operations or by radicalising regional elements who engage in violence in Iraq, Syria and subsequently their home countries.

"If this terrorism threat is allowed to grow and spread, innocent civilians here and elsewhere could be endangered and killed. By contributing to the international effort to tackle the threat at source, we are contributing directly to our own security."

Following the announcement, the SAF has sent a liaison officer and a Needs Assessment and Survey Team to the United States (US) Central Command Headquarters to facilitate planning and coordination for the SAF. Planners will be further deployed to the Combined Joint Task Force Headquarters and the Combined Air Operations Centre. There are also preparations being made for the deployment of a KC-135R tanker aircraft to support air-to-air refuelling for coalition forces.

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Growing Threat of Radicalism in the Region

Condemning the recent terror attacks linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Dhaka, Istanbul and near Kuala Lampur, Minister for Home Affairs and Law, Mr K Shanmugam commented yesterday (4 Jul) that radicalism is growing in the region.

Speaking during his visit to the Geylang Serai Hari Raya Bazar, Mr Shanmugam noted that “It’s really sad. This is a month of peace ........ and that they should choose to attack even during this month shows the level of evilness.”

Reiterating that Singapore remains a target for terrorists, he also stressed the importance of being prepared, should such attacks be carried out in Singapore.

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Yaacob: Develop Islam That Embraces All People

In his Hari Raya Aidilfitri message on Tue (5 Jul), Dr Yaacob reflected on the contributions of local and foreign Muslims to Singapore society, and urged the Muslim community to continue striving towards “a society full of compassion and hope”.

He added that the community play an important role in building a Singapore society that is cohesive, caring and vibrant. It is “our responsibility to continue writing this story -- to build an even better and more endearing home for future generations to come".

Minister Yaacob added on Wed (6 Jul), after Aidilfitri prayers at the Ar-Raudhah Mosque in Bukit Batok, that promoting integration is especially important in the wake of terror attacks in various countries carried out by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria during the month of Ramadan.

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Community support vital to fight terror threat
Ministers and delegates of the 60-member coalition trying to crush the Islamic State militant group attend a high-level meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Dec 3, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

There are no indications of a heightened security threat to Singapore following its offer to deploy personnel to support the multinational coalition combating the terrorist threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean said in Parliament Thursday.


But the ongoing violence in Syria and Iraq has meant that the overall threat level for every country is greater, he said in response to questions from Mr Alex Yam (Chua Chu Kang GRC) and Non-Constituency MP Gerald Giam on how the government is handling the ISIS threat to Singapore.


Mr Teo said that while security agencies here share watch-lists and information with their foreign counterparts, such measures are not fool-proof in preventing foreign terrorists from entering Singapore.


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Full Coverage:
PM Lee: Singapore has to be prepared that terrorists may breach its safety net
Terror threat has become more serious, must be fought on multiple fronts: PM Lee
Singaporeans must 'stand united in face of terror threat'
S'poreans must use hearts and minds to counter terror: DPM
S'poreans must use hearts and minds to counter terror: DPM
Focus on what Singaporeans have in common: DPM Teo
Focus on similarities not differences: DPM Teo



related:
Community support vital to fight terror threat
Singapore to join fight against Islamic State
S’pore seriously considering how to help fight Islamic State: PM Lee
"Singapore - US" Bilateral Ties
Defending Our Lion City
PM Lee Highlights Severity of Terror Threat