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Four Bangladeshi Men Convicted of Terror Financing in Singapore

FILE - The Merlion statue overlooking the Marina Bay area spouts water as the Marina Bay Sands resort and casino is pictured in the background.

Four Bangladeshi workers held on suspicion of planning attacks linked to the Islamic State group in their own country were convicted of financing terrorism by a court in Singapore on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said the men, who pleaded guilty, had raised money to buy firearms to launch attacks in Bangladesh. They will be sentenced on June 21 and face a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a fine of 500,000 Singapore dollars ($362,260).

Two other workers have pleaded not guilty. Their trial dates have not been set.

The men have been detained since April under Singapore's Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial in cases where public safety is threatened.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has said the group's suspected leader, Rahman Mizanur, possessed guides on making weapons and bombs, as well as radical material from the Islamic State group and al-Qaida that he used to recruit the others.

Rahman, 31, arrived at Singapore's State Court on Tuesday with his arms and legs shackled, surrounded by a heavy police guard. He pleaded guilty and was convicted of two charges of financing terrorism, by inviting group members to contribute funds and handling the money to facilitate plans.

Deputy public prosecutor Nicholas Khoo said Rahman told the group that money was needed to purchase food, arms and weapons like knives and pistols.

“Everyone at the meetings agreed that they will contribute part of their salary,” he said. Police charge sheets said that they had contributed to, held or dealt with money for the alleged plans, with amounts ranging from 60 to 1,360 Singapore dollars.

Two other Bangladeshi men who were detained in April have not been charged and will be dealt with separately, officials said.

In January, Singapore said it had arrested and deported 26 Bangladeshi construction workers for forming a religious study group that spread the ideologies of al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.