SVA comment on Terrorist Attack

Sheldon Adelson’s casino in Singapore has narrowly dodged becoming the target of a terror attack.

On Friday, Indonesian authorities announced that they’d arrested six individuals suspected of plotting a terror attack on Singapore’s Marina Bay district, the home of Las Vegas Sands’ Marina Bay Sands integrated resort.

Police said the six individuals planned to fire rockets at Marina Bay from Batam, an Indonesian island located across the Strait of Singapore. The men were detained following a series of raids on multiple locations, including one at which weapons were found.

Police have so far declined to specify what type of weapons had been seized but the Straits Times quoted a neighbor of one of the arrested men saying that police had found a bomb that had “already been assembled.”

The detained individuals are allegedly part of the KGR@Katibah terrorist group. They are believed to have had help organizing the attack from Muhammad Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian currently fighting in Syria as part of the ISIS terror group. Bahrun is suspected of involvement in January’s terror attack in Jakarta that killed eight people.

The Jakarta Post reported that Indonesian authorities were acting on a tip from their Singapore counterparts. Singapore defense minister Ng Eng Hen posted a Facebook message saying that everyone “should assume that there may be more plots, other terror cells on the lookout for ways and new munitions to penetrate our defenses.”

Marina Bay is a popular hub for international tourists, as it offers a mix of residential, commercial and hotel and entertainment options, and Marina Bay Sands is one of its most visibly striking features. There is no evidence that the casino was a specific target of the plot.

Following January’s attacks in Jakarta, Hong Kong-based risk consultancy Steve Vickers and Associates released a threat assessment that suggested terrorists might be considering a “spectacular attack on a soft target such as a mall in Australia or a casino in Macau.”

The Vickers report suggested that Macau’s gaming sector offered a “nexus of Chinese, American and Jewish interests” that a terror group would find particularly appealing. Adelson and Wynn Resorts’ chairman Steve Wynn are both Jewish.