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Singapore has longstanding legislation on terrorism dating back to 1960 which defines a terrorist in very broad terms. A terrorist act was defined in 2002 legislation on terrorist financing. There is no carve-out in either law for the exercise of fundamental human rights.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in National Law

The 1960 Internal Security Act defined a "terrorist" in the following broad terms as any person who 

(a)    by the use of any firearm, explosive or ammunition acts in a manner prejudicial to the public safety or to the maintenance of public order or incites to violence or counsels disobedience to the law or to any lawful order;

(b)    carries or has in his possession or under his control any firearm, ammunition or explosive without lawful authority; or

(c)    demands, collects or receives any supplies for the use of any person who intends or is about to act, or has recently acted, in a manner prejudicial to public safety or the maintenance of public order.

This effectively deems any violent offender as a terrorist. The 2002 Terrorist Financing Act defines a terrorist act as the use or threat of action 

(a)    where the action

(i)    involves serious violence against a person;

(ii)    involves serious damage to property;

(iii)    endangers a person’s life;

(iv)    creates a serious risk to the health or the safety of the public or a section of the public;

(v)    involves the use of firearms or explosives;

(vi)    involves releasing into the environment or any part thereof, or distributing or otherwise exposing the public or any part thereof to —
(A) any dangerous, hazardous, radioactive or harmful substance; (B) any toxic chemical; or (C) any microbial or other biological agent, or toxin;

(vii)    disrupts, or seriously interferes with, any public computer system or the provision of any service directly related to communications infrastructure, banking and financial services, public utilities, public transportation or public key infrastructure;

(viii)    disrupts, or seriously interferes with, the provision of essential emergency services such as the police, civil defence and medical services; or

(ix)    involves prejudice to public security or national defence; and

(b)    where the use or threat is intended or reasonably regarded as intending to

(i)    influence or compel the Government, any other government, or any international organisation to do or refrain from doing any act; or

(ii)    intimidate the public or a section of the public.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Singapore is a State Party to all of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party


Singapore is also a State Party to the main regional treaty on terrorism, the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) 2007 treaty on counter terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
ASEAN 2007 Treaty on Counter Terrorism State Party

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The 1960 Internal Security Act imposes the death penalty as the maximum sentence for several terrorism offences. A range of terrorist offences are sanctioned under the Act with lesser penalties. This includes the failure to provide information to the police on the present or intended movements or whereabouts of any person whom he or she knows or has reasonable cause to believe to be a terrorist. This offence is subject to imprisonment for up to 10 years.S. 61, 1960 Internal Security Act.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) are both trained and equipped to conduct counterterrorism operations. The SPF has a Special Operations Command (SOC) while the Army has a Special Operations Force (SOF). The SOF was created following the mistaken triggering by a flight engineer aboard Olympic Airlines Flight 472 of a hijack alarm. The plane landed at Singapore airport. 


Singapore 1960 Internal Security Act

Singapore 2002 Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act