Terrorism threatens our social harmony and way of life. Everyone in Singapore needs to play an active role to build a strong foundation of community vigilance, cohesion and resilience, so that the terrorists will not succeed.
Vigilance - Stay Alert
Look out for tell-tale indicators of security threats and know how to respond in a crisis!
Tell-tale indicators can be anything that is unusual, irregular or strange. Here are some indicators for articles, human behaviours and characteristics, and vehicles to look out for:
Look out for suspicious articles left unattended in public places. These articles may have the following characteristics:
Secured excessively with string or adhesive tape
Have wires sticking out of them
Have stains, discolouration or emit unusual odour
Behaviours and Characteristics
Look out for persons showing suspicious behaviours and characteristics:
- Wearing bulky or oversized attire that may conceal hidden objects such as weapons or explosives
- Placing an object or parcel in a crowded area and departing immediately
- Attempting to hide/disguise their identity by wearing hoodies, masks, motorcycle helmets
- Loitering for an extended period of time at one location
- Taking photos or doing video recordings of security features
- Asking specific questions concerning the security of a place, a neighbourhood, an event or the personal movement of a specific individual without a reasonable explanation
Terrorists have increasingly been using vehicles to conduct attacks in crowded areas. You should keep a lookout for the following:
- Commercial or heavy vehicles being operated erratically, at unusual times or in unusual locations, particularly near crowded areas
- Vehicles circling an area repeatedly, or on different occasions
- Any vehicle abandoned abruptly by the driver at the roadside or next to buildings
- Overly weighted vehicles with sunken tires and suspensions
- A new vehicle license plate mounted on an otherwise old car
- Vehicles with foreign objects attached, such as under the body or in the wheel well
- Vehicles containing suspicious articles (based on indicators above)
When you spot a suspicious person or object:
You should observe the person or article from a safe distance and note down their description.
For persons, you should note these characteristics:
Build and Height: Small, medium, thin, plump, muscular
Complexion: Fair, tanned, dark
Distinctive Characteristics: Tattoos, spectacles, scars
Hair: Curly, short, long, dyed (colour)
Race: Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian etc.
Type and Colour of Clothing and Footwear: Colour, type (t-shirt, overall, sleeveless or short-sleeved, etc.), or prominent logos or brands
Items Carried: Guns, knives, sling bag, waist-pouch, etc.
Do not try to apprehend the person or to touch the item. Inform the Police immediately.
- Call the Police at 999
- SMS 71999 if you can't talk
- You can also submit information to the Police via the SGSecure mobile app
Provide a clear description to the Police. You may also tell the Police where they can meet you for more details.
Download the SGSecure app to receive important alerts during major emergencies. It will also allow you to seek assistance and provide information to the authorities.|
iOS App Store | Google Play
Signs of Radicalisation
When a person adopts extreme political, religious or social views, they could be radicalised over time and may even develop the intention to engage in terrorist activities.
Possible signs of radicalisation include:
- Expressing the belief that violence is justified
- Idolising, showing support or sympathising with terrorists and their causes
- Trying to influence others to support terrorism and/or participate in terrorist activity
- Displaying insignia or symbols in support of terrorist groups
Family and friends are often the first to notice these behavioural changes. They should try their best to counsel these possibly self-radicalised persons.
Family and friends should also not hesitate to alert the authorities if they are unable to rein in these persons. By reporting them to the authorities early, you could help them get proper guidance and counselling so that they can be steered away from the path of radicalisation. They may not need to be severely dealt with under the law.
If you know or suspect that a person is radicalised, you should call the ISD Counter-Terrorism Centre hotline at
Cohesion - Stay United
After an attack, tensions may rise between the different racial and religious groups in Singapore. This is precisely what the terrorists aim to do - to create divisions and threaten ties between the communities by instilling fear and distrust.
We can counter this by taking active steps to deepen mutual trust and respect, so that terrorists will not succeed in weakening our social fabric.
We can start by learning more about the different cultures, races and religious practices in Singapore. Small gestures can also help strengthen social cohesion in peacetime:
- Get to know your neighbours better - a "Hello" or a smile goes a long way
- If comfortable, exchange contact numbers with your neighbours or be part of a neighbourhood social media group
- Help your neighbours whenever you can - it can be simple things like picking up their newspaper/packages when they are away, or help to keep a look out for the elderly or children
- Be understanding, considerate and respectful to each other
Let's stay united in peacetime and in crisis. Visit our resource page to find out more about how you can help to strengthen social cohesion in your neighbourhood, school or workplace.
Resilience - Stay Strong
We should all be prepared and know how to protect ourselves and our loved ones in an emergency. We can also play our part to help each other bounce back quickly in the aftermath of an attack.
Do you know what you should do if you are caught in an attack?
Run, Hide, Tell
- Move quickly and quietly away from danger using the safest route
- Do not surrender or attempt to negotiate
If escape is not possible, then...
- Stay out of sight, be quiet and switch your phone to silent mode
- Lock yourself in and stay away from the doors
When it is safe to do so...
- Provide information to the Police by calling 999, SMSing 71999 or using the SGSecure App
- Provide details about the attackers such as the total number of attackers, equipment or weapons being carried, and the appearance of the attackers
- Provide the location of attackers, both where they are now and where they are moving towards
Improvised First Aid Skills
One common injury you may encounter during an attack are bleeding wounds. What can you do?
Improvised First Aid - or Press, Tie, Tell - can help you to save lives:
Press directly on the wound to stop the bleeding using items such as a handkerchief or cloth
- If pressing does not stop the bleeding,
tie above the wound using items such as a neck tie, belt or sling of a bag to stop any excessive bleeding
Tell the SCDF Emergency Responders about the injury and the time when you tied the wound
Given the threat that we face, an attack is not a matter of if, but when. What should you do after an attack has taken place?
Keep calm: find out the latest information and advisories from official sources
Do not speculate or spread rumours: do not post or share videos or photos which may create panic or cause disharmony
Care for others: encourage your family, friends and neighbours to bounce back and return to their daily activities as soon as possible
People react to crisis situations differently. Some may show symptoms in response to a terrorist attack, while others may not. After an attack, it is not uncommon to experience a loss sense of reality, fear and anger at what has happened, or guiltiness for surviving.
How can we cope with these feelings?
- Avoid news reports on the attack as it may evoke unpleasant feelings
- Resume your daily routine and keep yourself occupied
- If you have suffered a loss, remember your loved ones with photographs or personal keepsakes
- Open up and talk to others with similar experiences
- Know what community resources are available, and the numbers to call and seek help
- Rely on alcohol or drugs to numb your feelings or reactions
- Isolate yourself from others
- Avoid people from other races and/or religions
Samaritans of Singapore (SOS):
1800 221 4444 (24-hr Hotline)
IMH Mental Health Helpline: