Thursday, February 28, 2008

JI detainee Mas Selamat Kastari escapes from Singapore detention centre

Extract from
Posted: 27 February 2008 2045 hrs

SINGAPORE : A massive police operation is underway in Singapore after the leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah network here, Mas Selamat Kastari, escaped from detention at 4.05pm on Wednesday.

A statement from the Home Affairs Ministry says Mas Selamat walks with a limp and is presently at large.
He is not known to be armed and is one of Singapore's most wanted men.
Extensive police resources have been deployed to track him down after he escaped from the Whitley Road Detention Centre.

Anyone with information about him can contact the police at 999.

Mas Selamat was arrested by the Indonesian police on Bintan island in January 2006.He was picked up then for using a fake identity card.Based on investigations then, Indonesia's elite anti-terror police discovered he was the leader of the Singapore Jemaah Islamiyah network, a terrorist organisation.They then deported the man to Singapore in 2006.

The 45-year-old father of four was also said to be involved in JI's plans to mount attacks against foreign and local establishments here.These included the US Embassy and American Club, the Defence Ministry headquarters at Bukit Gombak and the Education Ministry building at North Buona Vista Drive.

Mas Selamat fled Singapore in December 2001 following an Internal Security Department operation against the terrorist organisation.The militant leader had been on the run after Singapore authorities discovered plans to crash seven truck filled with bombs at various locations around the island.Investigations also revealed that he was the mastermind behind a plan to hijack an airplane and crash it into Changi airport.When he was last arrested in Indonesia, officers found literature on bomb making on the man.Mas Selamat's deportation to Singapore two years ago was seen as a significant development in the close network of cooperation amongst intelligence officers in the region to share information on terror suspects and to defeat the terror threat.

The islandwide manhunt has fanned out to areas in Beauty World in Upper Bukit Timah and Goldhill Avenue near Barker Road.
Officers are also knocking on homes asking residents if they have seen the escapee.
Police have also formed a formidable blockade around Malcolm Park, near the Singapore Chinese Girls' School. - CNA/ch

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