Where is Mas Selamat?
A massive police operation is underway in Singapore after Mas Selamat, head of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorist network here, gave his guards the slip while he was being taken to the toilet at the Whitley Detention Centre at 4.05pm on Wednesday 27 Feb 2008.
Who is Mas Selamat Kastari?
He was Singapore's most wanted man when he was on the run from December 2001 to February 2006.
Former head of Jemaah Islamiah (JI) terrorist cell here.
Wanted to crash a hijacked plane into Changi Airport. Other targets: US personnel and naval vessels, the Defence Ministry, water pipelines from Malaysia, US Embassy and the American Club.
Joined Singapore JI around 1992. Had military training in Afghanistan in 1993. Returned in 1998 to study Taliban system of government.
After 2001 crackdown, went on run to different places in South-east Asia.
Arrested in Tanjong Pinang, Indonesia, in 2003. In and out of jail until final arrest in 2006 in Java. Deported to Singapore soon after that.
UPDATE: 2nd Mar 2008
UPDATE: 4th Mar 2008
Over the past 6 days, 1,000 uniformed personnels searching almost every corner of Singapore and even the Interpol for assistance to locate him. Can Mas Selamat Kastari be found?
Pic source: Talkingcock.Com
HE may resort to changing the way he looks, but fugitive Mas Selamat Kastari has one distinctive physical feature that works against him - his limping left leg.
Wearing a wig or shaving himself bald are some of the most common forms of disguises adopted.
Sporting a beard, a moustache or a goatee are some common ways of obscuring the facial features. But unless he has an accomplice who would have prepared the necessary disguise kit, time would be a factor.
Mas Selamat may even take to wearing his ethnic outfit, like a sarong.
As Mas Selamat walks with a limp, he may even dress scruffily and pretend to be a beggar.
More Update: 19 Mar 2008
MAS SELAMAT SOUGHT REFUGE IN EAST JAVA
Jakarta Post saying that Mas Selamat Kastari had sought refuge in East Java.
UPDATE:21 APR 2008
HOW MAS SELAMAT ESCAPE FROM THE TOILET
The open ventilation window inside the toilet, which Mas Selamat escaped from Whitley Road Detention Centre on Feb 27
The window was not secured with grills, but instead the window handle was sawn off.
The exterior view of the ventilation window. Mas Selamat could used the pipes to help him climb down from the window.
The Committee of Inquiry found that there was a security weak point where the two perimeter fences meet the wall. Mas Selamat is believed to have scaled the fence and onto the roof of the walkway, before jumping over the fences.
The initial search area around Whitley Road Detention Centre after Mas Selamat's escape on Feb 27.
UPDATE: 26 MAY 2008
Nine disciplined, replaced in aftermath of Mas Selamat's escape
NINE guards and Internal Security Department (ISD)officers have been disciplined or replaced for failing to stop the escape of terrorist leader Mas Selamat Kastari.
They include the two senior officers in charge of the Whitley Road Detention Centre and their immediate boss at ISD, who holds a rank equivalent to a Brigadier General in the army.
Police charged the two Gurkha Contingent guards who had escorted Mas Selamat the day he escaped. They had pleaded guilty and have been demoted in rank.
The superintendent of the detention centre has been dismissed from service.
His deputy has been demoted in rank, with a pay cut.
The Special Duty Operative - an ISD officer who handled the family visit when Mas Selamat escaped - has been dismissed from service.
Two other officers at the Whitley Road detention centre received departmental warning letters.
One of them is a technical officer who was responsible for the closed-circuit television camera upgrading at the centre.
The eighth individual affected was the Chief Warder. She too received a warning letter.
The Command Director at the ISD was also among those replaced.
UPDATE: 30 JULY 2008
Trio quit jobs to go bounty hunting
THREE Singaporeans have quit their jobs to hunt for Mas Selamat Kastari following the S$1mil (RM2.3mil) reward being offered for the escaped terrorist, Sin Chew Daily reported.
The trio, in their 20s, have given themselves a year to hunt down the terrorist, who escaped from the republic’s prison on Feb 27.
Two businessmen, who remained anonymous, had recently announced they were offering a S$1mil reward for Mas Selamat's capture.
The three men, all of whom had undergone commando training during their national service, resigned from their jobs in the private sector last week and left for Indonesia last Saturday.
Chen Jin Nan, the founder of Crime Library and spokesperson for the trio, told a Singapore daily that they would try to trace Mas Selamat's escape route from Singapore to Indonesia.
They then plan to blend into the local communities to seek clues on Mas Selamat's whereabouts.
UPDATE: 8 MAY 2009
MAS SELAMAT CAUGHT
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 with 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.
Mas Selamat Kastari is snapped leaving the Tanjung Pinang police station under heavy guard by a special squad unit from Riau to the airport bound for Pekanbaru
UPDATE: 11 May 2009
Fugitive militant Mas Selamat Kastari (pic) found the perfect spot to hide - a secluded village in Johor unmarked on any map, not even Google.
He found a traditional kampung house on stilts in Kampung Tawakal, a tiny village with a population of less than 100.
Located about 10km away from the North-South Expressway near the Kempas exit, it is almost impossible to locate for those not familiar with the area.
All around are oil palm trees and there are no signboards pointing to the village as one drives along the main road of Jalan Kampung Maju Jaya.
About 5km away sits the exclusive Starhill Golf and Country Club.
Malaysian police had closed in on him and were shouting to him to surrender, but Mas Selamat Kastari refused to give up.
He clambered up to the second floor of the kampung house he was hiding in and tried to flee.
Police then kicked down the doors and brought him out with his hands cuffed behind his back and his head covered in a dark-blue checked sarong.
He was bundled into a police vehicle and taken away from the secluded Kampung Tawakal near Skudai, Johor, in the early morning of April 1.
And there ended his 13 months of life on the run.
Next-door neighbour Jamian Simin recounted the drama of that day to The Straits Times yesterday.
The 70-year-old retiree was having coffee when he heard the sounds of people running. He looked out of his window to find the capture of Singapore's most-wanted terrorist taking place before his very eyes.
Before that, he had no clue about Mas Selamat's true identity. No one in the village of 100 people had heard of him either, it would appear, except for his landlord and wife.
Mas Selamat escaped from the Whitley Road Detention Centre on Feb 27 last year, sparking off one of the largest manhunts in the region.
News of his capture was made public last week. He is believed to have swum to Johor using an improvised flotation device. — The Straits Times
This is the interior of the lower part of the house, where Mas Selamat spent most of his time. The room has two sofa sets, a punching bag, a shelf of books, a table, as well as an aquarium (on top of cabinet at right) containing dead fish in murky water.
UPDATE: 28 May 2009
No handover to Singapore - Mas Selamat to be Held in M'sia for 2 years under ISA
Mas Selamat Kastari (center), who was arrested in Skudai, Johor last month, is being held for two years under the Malaysia's Internal Security Act (ISA).
UPDATE: 22 Sept 2009
Mas Selamat happier being detained in M'sia
PETALING JAYA: Jemaah Islamiah militant Mas Selamat Kastari is happier being detained in Malaysia than in Singapore, says a human rights commissioner.
Suhakam vice-chairman Tan Sri Simon Sipaun said Mas Selamat did not have any complaint about his detention in Kamunting, Perak, where he has been held since early this year.
"He said he prefers to be in Malaysia. He has no complaints of the treatment he gets here.
"His only complaint is on the failure of his family to visit him. From what I understand, there is no problem as far as the Malaysian authorities are concerned.
"The issue is with the Singaporean authorities," he said when contacted yesterday.
Sipaun said both him and Suha-kam commissioner Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam had met Mas Selamat, as well as the other seven detainees during their inspection of the centre on Friday.
The 48-year-old militant had escaped from a maximum security detention centre in Singapore in February last year, and swam to Johor. He was arrested at his hideout in a tiny Johor village in April this year.
Sipaun said Mas Selamat had told him during their meeting that he suspected he was drugged while detained in Singapore as he was constantly dizzy after meals.
He said they spoke to Mas Selamat, who looked healthy, for about 20 to 30 minutes.
"He was not aggressive, he was very pleasant and very polite.
"In fact, we didn't know he was Mas Selamat until we asked him where he was from. Only then did we realise it was him," he said.
"My only regret is that I forgot to ask him how he managed to escape from Singapore, as Singapore is so strict and the security there is so tight," he said.
When contacted, Siva Subramaniam said the militant should be allowed to have his day in court.
"Malaysians, of course, do not support terrorists. But he should be tried in court, to see if he is indeed guilty of all the charges brought against him," he said.
UPDATE: 24 Sept 2010
MAS SELAMAT has been released and will be deported to Singapore
Malaysia will deport a Singaporean terrorist suspect on Friday who spent nearly 18 months in detention after authorities tracked him down following his escape from a high-security prison in the city-state.
Mas Selamat Kastari, who is of Indonesian origin and in his late 40s, was the suspected commander of the Singapore arm of the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah militant group. He is accused of plotting to hijack a plane and crash it into Singapore's international airport. Jemaah Islamiyah is accused of carrying out the 2002 bombings in Bali, Indonesia, that killed 202 people.
After a year on the run, he was captured in Malaysia in April 2009 and was detained under the Internal Security Act that allows indefinite imprisonment without trial.
He has been released and will be deported to Singapore later Friday, a Home Ministry official said on condition of anonymity. The official, who said he was not authorized to release the information to the media, declined to give details.
At the time of his escape, Mas Selamat was being held in a high-security jail in Singapore under the Internal Security Act, which is similar to Malaysia's security law.
He escaped on Feb. 27, 2008, by wriggling out a bathroom window in a shocking breach that severely embarrassed the city-state known for its rigorous security. His ability to remain in hiding for more than a year underscored that terrorist networks in the region remain strong.
The search for Mas Selamat initially focused on Singapore and neighboring Indonesia, where it was thought the local branch of Jemaah Islamiyah would easily provide shelter for him. But he was arrested on the outskirts of Johor Baru, the capital of the southern state of Johor state, which is separated from Singapore by a narrow strip of sea.
A father of four, Mas Selamat escaped when he was taken from his cell to a room where he was waiting for a visit from his family. He disappeared after being granted permission go to the bathroom, authorities said.
Such security breaches are virtually unheard of in tightly policed Singapore, an island nation of 4 million people.
Mas Selamat fled Singapore in December 2001 following a crackdown on Jemaah Islamiyah. He was arrested by the Indonesian police on Bintan island in January 2006 and handed over to Singapore authorities.