A SINGAPORE court has sentenced four Bangladeshi workers to up to five years in prison for planning attacks linked to the Islamic State (IS) group in their home country.
Rahman Mizanur, Miah Rubel, Md Jabath Kysar Haje Norul Islam Sowdagar and Sohel Hawlader Ismail Hawlader pleaded guilty in May to helping fund terror attacks in Bangladesh.
Prosecutors said the men had contributed part of their salary to buy food, arms and weapons like knives and pistols to launch the attacks.
Rahman, who was identified as the group’s ringleader, was sentenced to five years in prison. Miah and Jabath were senctenced to 30 months each, while Sohel was given two years behind bars.
“Much havoc can be wracked with inexpensive items. The cost of a terrorist act can be modest, but the cost to society is far greater. Singapore must take a firm stance against terrorism and terrorism financing,” the prosecution said, according to Channel News Asia.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has said Rahman possessed guides on making weapons and bombs.
In sentencing Rahman on Tuesday, District Judge Kessler Soh emphasized that a deterrent sentence and “much stiffer punishment is warranted”.
The four men are part of a group of eight men detained since April under Singapore’s Internal Security Act.
The sentences come just 10 days after Bangladesh suffered a deadly hostage crisis in which 28 were killed, including 20 hostages, two policemen and six of the attackers.
Among the people who died in the siege in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone were nine Italians, seven Japanese, one Indian, and three students from American universities.
The Islamic State has also claimed responsibility for a number of attacks in Southeast Asia in recent weeks. Indonesian authorities say IS was behind a suicide attack on a police station in the Javanese city of Solo last week.
Malaysian police, meanwhile, have linked a blast at a nightclub near the capital Kuala Lumpur last month to IS, in what could be the first attack by the terrorist group in the Southeast Asian nation.
Tensions were further heightened last week with reports of flyers and letters warning of bomb attacks in the Riau archipelago, targeting travelers from Singapore, and Johor in southern Malaysia.
Additional reporting by Associated Press