“As a result, Amirull has renounced his radical beliefs in armed jihad and the use of violence. He now sees jihad as caring for his parents, improving himself, and contributing to society.
“He also understands the importance of living harmoniously with people of other races and religions in Singapore, and to verify any religious information that he is unsure about with locally accredited religious teachers and scholars,” ISD added.
An RRG volunteer also gave Amirull weekly English lessons to help him pursue further studies at a post-secondary institution.
Amirull aspires to be a chef, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a separate speech on Wednesday.
Speaking at the launch of a new RRG gallery, he outlined how the group of voluntary Islamic scholars and teachers has worked to tackle extremist ideologies through rehabilitation, community outreach and inter-faith collaboration.
Mr Lee also gave an update on the self-radicalisation situation in Singapore. Since the rise of the Islamic State in 2015, ISD has dealt with 49 such individuals under the Internal Security Act (ISA) – four times more than the number of cases in the preceding period from 2007 to 2014.
Of the 49 men and women, 37 are Singaporeans, 11 are aged 20 or younger, and five of the youths wanted to mount attacks in Singapore, said the Prime Minister.
Apart from religious counselling, Amirull worked with ISD case officers and a psychologist, the department said on Wednesday.
“Through the interactions, he has come to understand that while one may sympathise with the plight of people caught in the crosshairs of a conflict such as that between Israel and Palestine, we should never resort to or advocate violence as a solution,” said ISD in its release.
“The psychological counselling sessions also helped Amirull to strengthen his critical thinking and emotion regulation skills, which would reduce his vulnerability to radical influences.”