Wed, Jul 23, 2008 - Page 5 News List

Two individuals offer S$1m for escaped terrorist

BOUNTYTwo men who wish to remain anonymous offered the money for the capture of an escaped terror suspect alleged to be the leader of Jemaah Islamiyah

AP , SINGAPORE

Two individuals have jointly offered a bounty of S$1 million (US$740,000) for the capture of a top terror suspect who escaped from a high-security prison in Singapore earlier this year, the government said.

The Home Affairs Ministry said on Monday it has agreed to manage the cash reward that the private individuals offered for information leading to the arrest of Mas Selamat Kastari, whose Feb. 27 jailbreak triggered an island-wide hunt.

Singapore’s security agencies do not offer such rewards, but the individuals approached authorities for assistance in managing the bounty because they wished to remain anonymous, the ministry said.

“We are encouraged by such continued public support,” Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng (黃根成) was quoted in a statement as telling parliament on Monday. “We remain committed to finding and capturing Mas Selamat no matter how long it takes.”

Mas Selamat, the suspected local commander of the Southeast Asian Jemaah Islamiyah terror network, allegedly plotted to hijack an airplane and crash it into Singapore’s international airport. He slipped out of a detention center through an unlocked bathroom window when surveillance cameras were turned off.

Mas Selamat was being held under Singapore’s Internal Security Act, which allows indefinite detention without trial.

The reward applies whether Mas Selamat is captured inside or outside the city-state, the ministry said in a statement. Officials have voiced concern that he may have fled to nearby Indonesia, where he allegedly has ties with the Jemaah Islamiyah — blamed for a series of deadly strikes, including the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people.

Wong said Singapore had not received any information from Indonesia showing that Mas Selamat was hiding there, but that it remained a possibility.

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