Interpol issues urgent alert for escaped S'pore militant

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Singapore, Feb 29 (UNI) Interpol has issued an urgent worldwide 'security alert' or 'Orange Notice' after the escape of an alleged leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist group from the Whitley Road Detention Centre in Singapore.

Mas Selamat bin Kastari, 47, escaped from the Centre on February 27 where he was being held following his deportation from Indonesia to Singapore in February 2006.

Interpol said the notice was issued following a request from Singapore.

The notice includes Kastari's photograph and fingerprints, essential elements to help law enforcement officers in their search and eventual verification of his identity when located and arrested to each of its 186 National Central Bureaus (NCBs).

''Singapore is clearly doing all that it can on a national level to locate this fugitive and through issuing an Orange Notice, INTERPOL and all of its member countries can support these efforts on an international scale,'' said Executive Director of Police Services Jean-Michel Louboutin in a statement posted on the website of the Interpol.

In Singapore, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng briefed parliament on the Kastari escape and apologised for a lapse in security.

The father of five was being taken from his cell to meet members of his family at the visitors area when he asked to use the toilet.

But he vanished from there.

Kastari had threatened hijacking a plane and crashing it into Singapore's Changi International Airport and attacking a number of foreign and local institutions.

UNI XC SZ DS1401

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