Authorities in Singapore arrested a man suspected of planning an attack on a local synagogue.
Amirull Ali, a 20-year-old former soldier who was arrested in February during his military service, is suspected to have planned to carry out a knife attack during a service at the "Maghain Aboth" synagogue in the city's Waterloo Street.
Police said that Ali was planning to kill three Jews he suspected were former IDF soldiers.
In addition, authorities said that Ali also made plans to travel to Gaza to join the military wing of Hamas.
According to the investigation, Ali began to be radicalized during the 2014 Gaza War, after he saw a video of an IDF bombing. A year later, he began to support the terrorist Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades and in 2018 mulled joining the organization.
"We were told that an unknown individual promoted him to become a martyr if dies fighting against the enemies of Islam," said one of the investigators.
A spokesperson for Singapore's Internal Security Department said that the person in question who was in contact with Ali is not currently in the Asian city-state.
Ali even made a replica of an Ak-47 assault rifle to practice with. He had planned to fly to Gaza after his military service and save up money for the trip. Investigators said that he acted alone, with his family unaware of his plans.
Between August and early October 2019, he made at least two reconnaissance trips to the synagogue and identified a spot to ambush his victims as they exit the place of worship.
After deciding to use a knife for the attack, Ali downloaded an image of the human vascular system to study which strike will be most effective, practicing with a knife he had bought in the past.
Ali eventually shelved his attack plans as he was concerned about not dying as a martyr if he was arrested and sentenced to death.
He revisited his plan in December last year when he became enraged by an online video on the killing of Eyad al-Halak, an unarmed and autistic Palestinian man, by IDF forces. He planned to launch his attack on Christmas, but again decided not to go through with his plan.
Muslim leaders arrived Wednesday at the synagogue, together with Singapore's Law Minister K. Shanmugam, who said that Ali was not arrested because he identified with the Palestinians, but because he wanted to kill innocent people.
"It is okay to support the Palestinian cause, but it is not okay to plan to kill people," he said. "If this conspiracy had gone through, the consequences would have been great. It is not only a loss of life, but it also causes lack of faith and hostility among Singapore's religions."