Singapore arrested 27 Bangladeshi construction workers under the city-state's Internal Security Act (ISA) for allegedly encouraging armed jihad against the Bangladeshi government, the Ministry of Home Affairs said.
Twenty-six of those arrested were members of a closed religious study group that supported armed jihad, the MHA said in a statement.
"Members were encouraged to return to Bangladesh and wage armed jihad against the Bangladeshi government. They had also sent monetary donations to entities believed to be linked to extremist groups in Bangladesh," the statement said.
"A number of the group members admitted that they subscribed to the belief that they should participate and wage armed jihad on behalf of their religion. Several of them contemplated travelling to and participating in armed jihad in the Middle East. Additionally, some of the group members supported the violent actions of extremist/terrorist groups that killed Shi'ites because they considered Shi'ites to be 'deviant.'"
Around 89 percent of Bangladesh's population of around 169 million is Muslim and most are Sunni.
The MHA said the group members took measures to avoid detection by authorities as well as sharing jihadi-related material among themselves and targeting recruitment of other Bangladeshi nationals to increase their membership.