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Interpol red alert for escaped JI militant

Authorities were combing Singapore for Mas Selamat bin Kastari, the alleged JI leader who escaped on Wednesday.
AFP | By HT Correspondent, Singapore
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2008 12:36 PM IST

Interpol has issued an international red alert for an alleged Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) militant leader who escaped from a detention centre in Singapore, the global police body's website said today.

Authorities were combing Singapore for Mas Selamat bin Kastari, the alleged JI leader in the city-state who escaped last on Wednesday after he was allowed to use the toilet during a visit from his relatives.

Singapore police today said they believed Kastari was still in the country four days after he fled the detention centre but gave no further details.

Interpol's "Red Notice" alert allows a "warrant to be circulated worldwide with the request that the wanted person be arrested with a view to extradition," the organisation's website said.

Four different photos of Kastari, a Singaporean, were posted on Interpol's website, which said he could speak English and Malay. The alert comes after the agency issued an "Orange Notice" this past week, when the alarm was first raised about his escape.

Since his flight, security forces, including paramilitary Nepalese Gurkhas, have scoured Singapore and kept a tight watch on its borders with Malaysia and Indonesia.

Kastari was accused of plotting to hijack a plane in order to crash it into Singapore's Changi Airport in 2001 but was never charged in court. He was being held under an internal security law that allows for detention without trial.

In The Straits Times, Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo described Kastari's escape as "a setback" that the country will learn from.

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