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Internal Security (Act/Dept)

Apr 1 captured; Apr 15, Minister “regularly updated” while ISD “continue to hunt”??

What is intriguing (for now at least ‘cos god knows what else will be coming out!) about the capture of Mas Selamat Kastari is that the Straits Times reported,

Singapore’s most wanted terrorist was captured on April 1 while hiding in Johor, regional intelligence sources told The Straits Times.


Sources told The Straits Times that the 48-year-old was tracked down based on intelligence provided by Singapore’s Internal Security Department (ISD), and a joint operation by Malaysia and Singapore’s security agencies eventually led to his arrest.

On Apr 15, 2009, during an ISD promotion ceremony, DPM & Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng said,

I have been regularly updated on the Department’s efforts to track Mas Selamat Kastari down.


Even as you continue to hunt for Mas Selamat Kastari, you have been equally unrelenting in monitoring and tackling other security threats, at times, I know, stretching yourselves beyond the limits.

Two weeks after his capture on Apr 1, the Minister was still being “regularly updated on the Department’s efforts to track” him down???

Two weeks after his capture on Apr 1,  the Minister was saying “even as you [ISD] continue to hunt” for him???

I’m sure alot will be said and written in blogs, websites, online forums, local news media, etc, in the days to come about the re-capture of Mas Selamat Kastari. There’ll be many questions but I doubt all, or even most, will be answered. Sadly, that’s the nature of the beast.

Fugitive Mas Selamat nabbed
The Star, 8 May 2009

Fugitive suspected Singaporean terrorist Mas Selamat Kastari has been arrested by Malaysian police.

It is learnt the fugitive, who escaped from a Singapore maximum security detention centre on Feb 27, 2008 was arrested in Johor together with two others by Special Branch officers following intelligence sharing between the police forces of Indonesia and Singapore.

Sources said police here who had been on high alert for the suspected terrorist since his escape had gathered intelligence from their counterparts that Mas Selamat was hiding in Johor and was planning to create unrest in several countries in the region.

A massive operation was launched by the Special Branch with the help of other police departments here.

The month-long operation paid off when Mas Selamat who is said to be the leader for the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) in Singapore was arrested.

Police also seized documents and other paraphernalia that allegedly showed of their planned operation.

Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan confirmed the arrest.

“We are in touch with our international counterparts who were informed about the arrest as well as about what we learnt.

“Our officers are still investigating their activities and networking,” he added.

Mas Selamat was arrested in February 2006 and was sent to Singapore for investigations before he escaped in February last year.

Singapore’s most-wanted militant arrested after escape

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The suspected leader of a radical Islamist group linked to the 2002 Bali bombings has been arrested 15 months after he escaped from a high security prison in Singapore, the government said on Friday.

Mas Selamat Kastari was the alleged mastermind of a plot to hijack a plane and crash it into Singapore’s Changi Airport.

Singapore authorities have also accused him of planning several truck bomb attacks across the island state.

A Singapore government spokeswoman confirmed the arrest but gave no other details on where or when.

Officials said Mas Selamat was a leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, a pan-Asian radical Islamic group linked to al-Qaeda responsible for several bomb attacks across Southeast Asia, including the Bali bombings.

His escape from the Whitley Road Detention Center in February 2008 prompted a manhunt in Singapore and led to the sacking of several Singapore officials.

(Reporting by Kevin Lim; Editing by Angus MacSwan)



3 thoughts on “Apr 1 captured; Apr 15, Minister “regularly updated” while ISD “continue to hunt”??

  1. Its obvious you wont put something Top Secret in a speech to be published in the public domain, right? So you must give WKS the benefit of doubt that he may know; and thus nothing in the unclassified speech can contradict with all revealed thus far. In fact, the contents of the speech ought to be considered irrelevant.

    Also we can give ISD the possibility that they indeed found something significant and, eventually, useful for MSB. The latter should also be expected to obtain more intel from the Indon, and other sources, and perhaps even corroborating ISD’s tip, independently.

    The real issue now is to what extent was ISD involved in the recapture surveillance, planning and operations, apart from merely providing an initial tip.

    It is entirely possible that ISD was left completely in the dark until someone told WKS something a few days after the arrest, and was asked to keep very quiet about it. Also it seems likely from all that is revealed of the “joint operation” that ISD was not on the ground during the arrest.

    And whatever “close cooperation” between the agencies are just smoke screen and nice noises for the public. The reality could be a dirty and uncompromising rivalry, distrust and one-upmanship between the agencies.

    And WKS cannot help but keep very quiet, at least initially, as he needs to be in KL good books. But he cannot keep quiet for too long. He wants to shout his redemption from the highest hill. Also maybe WKS is getting suspicious of other motivations for KL desire for quiet.

    And so the laughable “scoop”. But laugh as you like, it works.

    It could be SG’s response to KL’s attitude to squeeze max benefit from SG (Note the M’sian PM mentioned the arrest to LHL personally), ie using the media and the public to nullify KL’s leverage and to force KL to cooperate.

    Also our many many words, rational or otherwise, foolish or insightful, on these numerous blogs on this subject, and read by, potentially, all the world, can be exploited by anyone, and it is a new kind of leverage that the new media creates.

    Posted by Rational | May 11, 2009, 17:06


  1. Pingback: The Singapore Daily » Blog Archive » Daily SG: 11 May 2009 - May 11, 2009

  2. Pingback: The Singapore Daily » Blog Archive » Weekly Roundup: Week 20 - May 16, 2009

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