Singapore Media Watch

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Detained Islamic militant escapes in Singapore

Reuters
26 February 2008

He was wanted by Singapore police for involvement in planned attacks on the Southeast Asian city-state's Changi airport. (Reporting by Koh Gui Qing and Vivek Prakash; Editing by Bill Tarrant)

SINGAPORE, Feb 27 - The accused leader of the Singapore wing of the Islamic militant network Jemaah Islamiah escaped on Wednesday from a detention centre on the island, the government said.

Mas Selamat bin Kastari escaped from Whitley Road Detention Centre on Wednesday afternoon and he is not known to be armed, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement.

"He walks with a limp and is presently at large," the ministry said. "Extensive police resources have been deployed to track him down."

Four red-coloured police vans and about two dozen riot police and soldiers were seen lining a road as they surveyed traffic and pedestrians in central Singapore on Wednesday night.

The JI has been blamed for several deadly bombing attacks in Southeast Asia, including the 2002 bombings that killed more than 200 people on Indonesia's resort island of Bali.

Singapore, a strong U.S. ally and a major base for Western businesses, sees itself as a prime terrorist target in the region after it foiled JI plots in 2001 to attack its airport and various Western-linked sites, including the U.S. embassy.

Kastari was arrested by the Indonesian police on the Indonesian island of Bintan in January 2006 before he was sent to Singapore.

He was wanted by Singapore police for involvement in planned attacks on the Southeast Asian city-state's Changi airport.

(Reporting by Koh Gui Qing and Vivek Prakash; Editing by Bill Tarrant)

Source: Reuters

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