Melb university aids terror student probe

By Kaitlyn Offer

A Melbourne university is helping authorities with their investigation into an Australian resident detained in Singapore for allegedly spreading terrorism ideology.

Zulfikar Mohamad Shariff, 44, was arrested in July for spreading on Facebook radical ideology that promoted and glorified terror group Islamic State.

He was detained by Singapore's government for two years.

La Trobe University vice-chancellor John Dewar on Monday said the institution was co-operating with "relevant authorities" over the mature-age PhD student.

Routine safety assessments of the university's campuses show there is no heightened risk because of Shariff's arrest, Professor Dewar added in a statement.

Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday said Shariff left Singapore and in 2002 resettled his family in Australia where he pursued "radical ideology".

Singaporean authorities argue Shariff supports terrorism and has admitted using social media to spread his radical beliefs to other Singaporeans.

It's unclear when the Australian citizen returned to Singapore, but authorities say he actively tried to radicalise and persuade young Singaporeans to join his extremist agenda.

Australia's foreign affairs department is aware of Singapore's press statement regarding Shariff's arrest.

It says consular officials are seeking to provide him with assistance "however Singapore does not recognise dual nationality and Mr Mohamad Shariff is being treated as a Singaporean citizen".