World News

Singapore's most-wanted militant arrested after escape

Police escort Mas Selamat Kastari in a 2003 file photo. REUTERS/Julian Rake/Files

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