TERRORISM IN SINGAPORE
Singapore perceives a threat from international terrorist organizations. As a consequence, the Five-Power Defence Arrangement, to which Singapore belongs along with Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, was expanded after 2001 to include counterterrorism. The Indonesia-based Jemaah Islamiah (Community of Islam), an affiliate of al Qaeda, has operational units in peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and Papua New Guinea. Another terrorist group of concern is the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a Philippines-based separatist group. Singapore maintains a high level of readiness and cooperation in the area of counterterrorism, especially in the wake of terrorist bombings in neighboring Indonesia, in Bali in 2002, and Jakarta in 2003. [Source: Library of Congress, July 2006 **]
Singapore is believed to hold in indefinite detention between 36 and 40 individuals who are suspected of links to terrorist organizations. In February 2006, Mas Selamat Kastari, who was accused of plotting to crash an airplane into Changi Airport in retaliation for Singapore’s imprisonment of fellow Jemaah Islamiah members, joined the detainees when he was deported to Singapore after spending four years in custody in Indonesia. Particular emphasis has been placed on protective and preventive actions against attacks on critical infrastructure, cyberterrorism, and chemical and biological attacks. Maritime piracy, long a problem in the immediate area, is of special concern to Singapore. The threat of a terrorist ship hijacking, possibly with the placement of conventional or nuclear explosives onboard, has led Singapore to increase maritime security on its own and with its neighbors. **
Singapore has been seen as a target for terrorist attacks because its close ties with the United States and Israel and support of the war in Iraq. There are also worries that terrorists might launch an attack in the Malacca Strait, which Singapore lies next to. In the mid 1990s, the Singaporean government announced a plan to build bomb shelters for 500 people under 16 new subway station that were to be built. It was also a suggested that everyone in Singapore have a bomb shelter put in their home. Observers thought the move was a tad on the paranoid side and wondered aloud who would want to bomb Singapore.
Terrorist Plots Involving Singapore
In December 2001, a plot was uncovered to bomb the U.S., Australian, British and Israeli embassies in Singapore, a Singapore government building, a U.S. Navy ship, the Americana Club the Singapore American School. and an area of bars used by sailors of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet. The plot was never carried out. Thirteen people were arrested
The plot call for the use of seven large trucks—each packed with three tons of explosives made from the fertilizer ammonium nitrate—to mount simultaneous attacks on seven targets mentioned above. To give you some idea of how devastating this attack would have been. Only one ton of ammonium nitrate was used in the Oklahoma City bombing. Authorities seized video tapes, plans and photographs of the aforementioned targets as well as of water pipelines between Singapore and Malaysia. There were also plans to attack chemical factories on Jurong Island and U.S. Navy vessels at sea, and crash an Aeroflot plane in Singapore’s international airport.
The arrests took place after a member of the cell plotting to carry out te attack placed an order for 17 tons of ammonium nitrate. Clues on the cell’s members were uncovered after a series of events that began with a botched bank robbery in Kuala Lumpur in 2001 in which two Muslim terrorists were killed and another was captured. With the help of the one that was captured police began piecing together a militant Muslim network that operated in Singapore and Malaysia.
In January 2002, dozens of suspected terrorists were rounded up in connection with an allegedly planned attack on U.S. military facilities and businesses.
Jemaah Islamiah in Singapore
Jemaah Islamiyah operates (or operated) a network of insurgents in Southeast Asia. Based primarily in Indonesia, with branches in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Australia, it was responsible for the Bali bombing in 2002 and the bombing of the Marriot Hotel and the Australia Embassy in Jakarta in 2003. It has mostly been quiet in recent years. Jemaah Islamiyah means “Community of Islam.” It is a regional Islamist-terrorist group that has been affiliated with Al-Qaida.
Jemaah Islamiyah was created in 1993 by Abu Bakar Bashir—an Indonesian Islamist cleric—to establish an Islamic state that stretched across the Muslim areas of Southeast Asia. Initially it took a hard line against the West but was not involved in terrorism. It didn’t become aggressively militant until hard-liners took it over in 2000 and set up terrorist training camps, carried out organized attacks against Christians and planned ambition attacks against Western targets intended to leave scores dead. Jemaah Islamiyah operated in the open until the Bali bombing in 2002.. Only then was it declared a terrorist organization.
Jemaah Islamiah in Singapore
Jemaah Islamiyah, with some financial support from Al-Qaida, was reportedly behind a foiled plan to blow up the American and Israeli embassy in Singapore and involved in other terrorist plans mentioned above. Many of the key figures were involved in the Bali bombing, an attack on a commuter train in Manila and other attacks in Indonesia and the Philippines.
In February 2003, Mas Selmat Kastari, the leader of a Singaporean cell of Jemaah Islamiyah, was arrested on the Indonesian island of Bintang. He had been on the run since December 2001 after a plan to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Singapore was uncovered. Kastari, a Singaporean citizen, was found with a book on suicide bombing in his possession.
In his trial in Jakarta, Jemaah Islamiah spiritual leader Bakar Bashir called Singapore an “evil kingdom” and accused Singapore authorities of torturing witnesses to testify against him.
Combating Terrorism in Singapore
Marshals were deployed on Singapore Airlines flights after the September 11th attacks. Following the Madrid bombing in 2004, Singapore began putting marshals on trains too. As a preventive measure against terrorism, vehicles are not allowed to park in front of the American Club.
In June 2004, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore agreed to set up joint naval patrols in the Malacca Straits and Singapore carried out an exercise for a potential terrorist attack at sea. But over all an effort to addressed the issue of terrorism in the Strait of Malacca has been hampered by lack of cooperation, national rivalries and equipment shortages, particularly by Malaysia and Indonesia in regard to their territorial waters and objections to United States offers to help.
The Singaporean government has received some advise and training form Israel on how to combat terrorism. Top security officials from Singapore met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in Washington in the early 2000s. The Bush administration praised Singapore for ist contributions in the fight against terrorism.
In 2008 Singapore began deploying armed police officers at subway stations and on trains. At its disposal Singapore possesses machines that can shoot high-powered jets of water at bombs to disable them.
Anti-Terror Drills in Singapore
In July 2009, Singapore staged its biggest ever anti-terror drill, simulating an attack similar to the one that killed 166 people in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008. AFP reported: “About 2,000 participants from 15 government agencies and the media took part in the exercise aimed to test the country's contingency plans and readiness to respond to a similar incident, the Singapore police said. Dubbed Exercise North Star VII, the drill involves seaborne 'terrorist' assault teams landing on the island-state's southern coast at dawn and fanning out to wreak mayhem on hotels, shopping malls and an underground train station. [Source: AFP, July 6, 2009]
“Apart from raising public awareness and boosting public confidence, the exercise also serves to test and validate the contingency plans as well as the operational readiness of the emergency response forces,” the police said in a statement. As well as the police, the drill also involves crack military units, civil defence forces, the internal security department, the foreign ministry, the hotel association, the train operator and the health ministry, among others. Phase one of the exercise was carried out over two days. Phase two involved a hostage situation at a high-end hotel. In November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, 10 Islamist extremist gunmen entered the city on a rubber dinghy and went on a 60-hour rampage, killing 166 people and injuring more than 300. [Ibid]
In January 2006, Xinhua reported: “Singapore's largest "surprise" civil emergency exercise against multiple bomb attacks on the public transport network started at 6:25 a.m. (local time) on Sunday in the rain. According to Channel NewsAsia report, Exercise NorthStar V, which will last until 9:30 a.m., is being carried out at four Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations and a bus interchange. A total of 22 government agencies are taking part in the exercise which simulates a series of attacks including an explosion inside a train in a tunnel, an explosion at a train platform, a chemical attack at a train station, as well as an explosion on a double-decker bus. Simulations in the form of thunder flashes, smoke and fire simulators are being used and "live" casualties deployed at the sites of the attacks, according to the report. The exercise aims to test related government agencies' readiness to respond to simultaneous bomb attacks and to enhance the public's understanding of instructions to be shared with them in such situations. Thirteen MRT stations will keep closed until the end of the exercise. [Source: Xinhua, January 8, 2006]
Singapore as a Guide for the U.S. on Handling Terrorists
The Obama administration has struggled over what to do with remaining detainees at Guantanamo. Some have suggested taking a look at Singapore for answers. William J. Dobson, wrote in the Washington Post, “Meet Ustaz Ibrahim Kassim, one of Singapore's most respected Islamic scholars. His business card describes him as "Assistant Registrar of Muslim Marriages." But Kassim is engaged in a more important enterprise. He is part of his country's innovative program to fend off the threat of Islamic extremism. "We are not scared of [the terrorists]," says Kassim, an older gentleman with a face framed by a neatly trimmed white beard. "We know that history repeats itself, but these problems do not need to be passed on." [Source: William J. Dobson, Washington Post, May 17, 2009 ]
“Kassim, along with nearly 40 other Islamic scholars, is part of a select group of religious leaders called the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG), which is trying to rehabilitate — or, as its members say, "deprogram" — Singapore's terrorist detainees. In 2001, Singapore's authorities had no idea that they had a terrorist problem. But after the Sept. 11 attacks, the government was tipped off that a cell of Jemaah Islamiyah, the Southeast Asian militant group with links to al-Qaeda, was planning attacks across the city-state. In raids in late 2001 and 2002, more than 30 members of the terrorist outfit were arrested; more arrests followed. So, while the United States was filling its detention center at Guantanamo with foreign fighters, Singapore began to house its own population of Muslim extremists in its jails.
Singapore's strict law-and-order government, which famously enforced a ban on chewing gum, may seem an unlikely candidate for believing terrorists could be reformed. But Singapore — often referred to as "the little red dot" in Southeast Asia's Islamic sea — is in a precarious position, and its government felt compelled to take action that would not only disrupt the terrorist group's operations, but also counter its ideological appeal. "We are what we are out of necessity," says Singapore's Foreign Minister George Yeo. "[Islamic extremism] is a long-term problem, and it's not going to go away in our lifetime. The only way you can combat it is to have an immune system."
Sidney Jones, a longtime advocate for human rights in Southeast Asia now at the International Crisis Group, calls this aspect of the Singapore program a "stroke of genius." "In some places, like Poso [in Indonesia], I have heard it is the wives who urge their husbands not to work with the police and to keep their resolve," says Jones. And unlike in many other countries with terrorist rehabilitation programs, such as Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the detainees in Singapore are required to continue their counseling after their release.
“Members of the RRG have traveled to Iraq to brief U.S. military officers on their methods. At a meeting in Singapore earlier this year, Maj. Gen. Douglas Stone Jr., who used to run the U.S. military's detention system in Iraq, said that 15 percent of Iraqi militants would typically return to the fight once released. Since the U.S. military introduced its own rehabilitation program, inspired in part by Singapore's example, that figure has dropped to 1 to 2 percent.”
Singapore’s Effort to Rehabilitate Terrorists
William J. Dobson, wrote in the Washington Post, ““Singaporean officials said they decided to use Islamic clerics because they were convinced that only religious leaders could "de-program" the detainees. "Once you have taken an oath of God, it will take another man of God to undo it," a senior security official told me. After meeting several detainees and studying Jemaah Islamiyah's religious ideology, the Islamic scholars were disturbed to see how their faith had been distorted to recruit terrorist foot soldiers. During more than a thousand weekly hour-long sessions, the scholars worked to build personal relationships with the detainees. Some counselors said the process of de-radicalizing an extremist was similar to the one-on-one relationship that often exists between a terrorist recruiter and recruit. [Source: William J. Dobson, Washington Post, May 17, 2009 ]
“The main battles were over the Koran. Islamic radicals, especially members of Jemaah Islamiyah, many of whom are born-again Muslims who adopted their extreme faith late in life, often quote from it to justify their actions. That was where a scholar's grasp of Islam came in, and it wasn't always a pleasant exchange. "They believe they have the right to kill. This is what they believe from years of indoctrination," says Ustaz Feisal Hassan, one of the counselors.
As with the rehabilitation of any criminal, there's always the possibility of backsliding. Two graduates of Saudi Arabia's rehabilitation program have reportedly taken leadership positions within al-Qaeda in Yemen. For this reason, the RRG also counsels the detainee's family to ensure that wrong lessons are not passed on to the next generation and to help wives, sons and daughters assimilate into the mainstream. Many families receive financial support from the government, and detainees have jobs waiting for them when they are released.
As of 2009, “40 former terrorists, or roughly two-thirds of the detainees Singapore has arrested since 2001, have been rehabilitated and released. None appear to have returned to their violent past. For Singaporean authorities, the best dividend may be the trust they have gained from the city-state's own Muslim citizens. "Singapore is the one place in the world I know where relations between the government and the Muslim community are better after 9/11," says Alami Musa, the president of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore.
“Of course, the biggest question is how we can ever know if a radical is truly rehabilitated. A detainee in Singapore is not released until his case officer, a psychologist and the religious counselor signs off. Even then the decision goes to the prime minister's cabinet to give its approval. Political accountability rests at the top.”
Singaporean Terrorist Sentenced to 18 Years Jail Term
In 2009, a Singaporean terrorist who admitted to meeting Osama bin Laden many times was sentenced to 18 years in jail for killing an Indonesian teacher and plotting an attack on a bar frequented by non-Muslims. Ali Kotarumalos of Associated Press wrote: “Mohammad Hasan bin Saynudin, a 36-year-old Singaporean, was defiant as he was led into the South Jakarta District Court, saying he was proud of his actions and ready for whatever punishment was handed down. "You can throw me in jail," he said. "But my son will just follow in my path." [Source: Ali Kotarumalos, AP, April 28, 2009]
“Saynudin - arrested with nine other Islamic militants and a cache of weapons on Sumatra island in July 2008 - admitted to many crimes during his trial, including helping mastermind a foiled plot to hijack a Russian Aeroflot plane and crash it into the terminal at Singapore's international airport in 2001. However, the case focused only on crimes committed in Indonesia. Judge Haswandi said Saynudin was guilty of orchestrating the fatal shooting of a teacher in front of the man's 9-year-old son in 2007 and trying to kill two Catholic priests in 2005. He was also found guilty of planning an attack on a bar on Sumatra that was called off at the last minute - apparently after the men realised it might unintentionally kill Muslims.
Saynudin violated the country's anti-terrorism laws and possession of illegal weapons, Haswandi said, in handing down the sentence. The Singaporean told reporters he considered himself a "Muslim hero". "I met Osama bin Laden countless times," he said, calling the al-Qaeda chief "the saviour of the Muslim world".
Jemaah Islamiah Leader Escapes from the Toilet at a Singaporean Police Facility
In February 2008, Jemaah Islamiah (JI) leader Mas Selamat bin Kastari escaped from a police detention facility, in the middle of an upscale residential area in Singapore, by wriggling out a toilet window. Wong Kan Seng, Singapore's minister for home affairs, said a "security lapse" led to the escape of the leader of the city-state's wing of the Islamic militant network. Acknowledging that the security lapse "should have never happened", Wong said everything was being done to arrest Kastari. [Source: Reuters, February 28, 2008 ]
According to Associated Press: Mas Selamat, a Singaporean of Indonesian origin, “had been taken from his cell to a room where he was waiting for his family to make a scheduled visit. He escaped after being granted permission to visit the washroom, authorities said. Following his escape, the detention center's superintendent was dismissed and the superintendent's deputy was demoted. [Source: Associated Press, May 8 2009]
Reuters reported: “ Local newspapers reported that thousands of policemen were deployed in a massive hunt for Kastari, who was thought to have escaped unarmed and walks with a limp. Kastari left Singapore after nearly 40 other suspected members of JI were rounded up in 2001 in connection with a plot to stage terrorist attacks against a number of U.S.-related targets. He was arrested by the Indonesian police on the Indonesian island of Bintan in January 2006 and sent back to Singapore. He had since been held under Singapore's Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial.”
Seth Mydans wrote in the New York Times, “The authorities have released little information about his escape on Feb. 27, but they say that he acted alone and on the spur of the moment and that he is probably still in Singapore. The official account is that the prisoner asked to go to the bathroom while waiting for family members to visit, then simply disappeared from the Whitley Road Detention Center. If this is true, said Lee Kin Mun, a leading political blogger who calls himself Mr. Brown, the government should “take a leaf from school exams, where security seems to be tighter” and where students must be escorted to the bathroom. [Source: Seth Mydans, New York Times, March 14, 2008 +++]
“The country’s founder and former prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, boiled the whole debacle down to one word: complacency. He used the episode to strike again with his frequent warning that Singaporeans must work hard to protect the modern but fragile country he created from a social or economic explosion. “It shows that it is a fallacy, it is stupid, to believe we are infallible,” he said. “We are not infallible. One mistake and we’ve got a big explosive in our midst. So let’s not take this lightly. I think it’s a very severe lesson on complacency." +++
“His son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said, “It is definitely a setback, and it should never have happened.” And then, echoing his father: “It’s the danger of complacency, of thinking that everything is all right.” In Singapore, words like that amount to marching orders, and government agencies seem to be rushing to demonstrate that whatever else they are, they are anything but complacent. +++
“Wong Hong Kuan, the assistant police commissioner, is at the center of the storm, commanding both his security forces and the public response. “He knows machines, so keep an eye on your car,” said the newspaper Today, reporting on a recent briefing by Mr. Wong. “Anyone who discovers their vehicles, including motorcycles and bicycles, missing, should make a police report immediately.” “Err on the side of caution,” the paper quoted Mr. Wong as saying. “Every second counts.” +++
Escaped Terrorist a Major Embarrassment for Singapore
Two weeks after the escape of Mas Selamat bin Kastari, Seth Mydans wrote in the New York Times, “In a furious response, the government put the entire country on alert, setting up checkpoints, sealing its borders, patrolling its parks and its shores, even urging people to keep an eye on their bicycles in case the wanted man decided to pedal to freedom. With each new empty-handed day the embarrassment deepens as Singapore confronts its Tora Bora moment, its most-wanted terrorist suspect melting into the urban terrain, as Osama bin Laden evaded American troops in Afghanistan. For some people here, this noisy, flailing search — even more than the escape itself — has cast Singapore in an unfamiliar light of haplessness. “We had all bought into the image of a well-organized government machinery,” wrote Alex Au, author of a popular political Web site called Yawning Bread. “Suddenly, our picture of Singapore as a kind of Big Brother state is, well, full of holes.” [Source: Seth Mydans, New York Times, March 14, 2008 +++]
“All around the city, police officers are on patrol and their checkpoints have delayed traffic for as much as 15 hours in some places, according to newspaper reports. Security officers on boats and Jet Skis are patrolling the coastline and the police have removed keys from the ignitions of unattended motor boats. In what one newspaper called “extensive land, sea and air searches,” military officers in jungle fatigues and Nepalese Gurkha paramilitary forces have scoured the city for the runaway inmate. Wanted posters are everywhere, mug shots have been transmitted to millions of cellphones and the entire nation of four million people has been deputized to look out for a round-faced man who is 5-foot-2, weighs 139 pounds and walks — or at least runs — with a limp. +++
“Newspapers here say it is the biggest manhunt in Singapore’s history. “Everyone thought Singapore had the tightest security system of anyone around,” said Sidney Jones, a leading terrorism expert for the International Crisis Group. As a nation, Singapore is as lean and mean and flexible as the rapid-response military the Pentagon dreams of, and it reacted with impressive speed and agility to recent Asian outbreaks of bird flu and SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. But for the moment it seems to have met its match in Mr. Mas Selamat. His disappearance challenges the government’s basic promise to its citizens that it will keep them safe and comfortable. +++
“The public has swung into action, as it has with previous nationwide campaigns — to have fewer children, to have more children, to keep toilets clean, not to throw things off balconies, to speak good English, to smile and to commit “spontaneous acts of kindness.” More than a thousand people have telephoned the police with tips. Concerned citizens are stopping people on the street who fit the fugitive’s description. This is not a good place to be a man with a limp. +++
““Mas Selamat” seems to be everywhere. He has been seen running into a park wearing only a pair of shorts monogrammed with the initials of the detention center. He has been spotted at an outdoor food stall, “but it turned out to be the man is Chinese,” according to a witness quoted in the news media. Someone followed his footprints up a flight of stairs to a rooftop, where the footprints disappeared. Someone else saw him running down a highway toward a causeway linking Singapore to Malaysia. A comedian, Ahmad Stokin, 51, said he had been stopped eight times, but did not seem to find it funny. He said he might look a bit like the picture on the wanted posters and he may have a limp, but it is in his right leg, not his left. +++
“Two weeks into the search, these fruitless sightings are about all the papers have to report about the biggest news story of the day. The top headline on Thursday about the search in the country’s main newspaper, The Straits Times, read: “I Think I Saw Mas Selamat.” An unidentified woman, the paper reported, had just recalled seeing someone who fit the description two weeks ago near the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped. Pondering this report, the newspaper left its readers with what is now a pointless question. “Was Fugitive Limping Along This Road?” it asked in a headline, and displayed a photo of an empty, rain-slick road where the witness had been standing.” +++
Escaped Terrorist Caught in Malaysia
Mas Selamat Kastari was finally captured in Malaysia in April, 2009. Associated Press reported: “The search had largely focused on Singapore and neighboring Indonesia, where the Indonesian branch of Jemaah Islamiyah was thought likely to find him shelter. However, he was arrested in Malaysia's southern Jhor state bordering Singapore and is being interrogated by authorities there, said Walter Chia, a spokesman for the Singapore's embassy in Kuala Lumpur. "The arrest was made possible with the cooperation of the two countries," Chia told The Associated Press. Mas Selamat was captured April 1 in a joint operation involving the security agencies of both countries, Singapore's Straits Times newspaper said on its Web site, quoting unidentified regional intelligence officials.[Source: Associated Press, May 8 2009]
Leslie Lopez wrote in The Straits Times, “Thirteen months after his audacious escape from detention in Singapore, Mas Selamat Kastari has been caught in Malaysia. Singapore's most wanted terrorist was captured on April 1 while hiding in Johor, regional intelligence sources told The Straits Times. It is believed that he was nabbed in the outskirts of Johor Baru and is now being held by the Malaysian authorities for interrogation. [Source: Leslie Lopez, The Straits Times, May 8, 2009 ~]
“ Intelligence provided by Singapore's Internal Security Department late last year led to a joint operation between Malaysia and Singapore's security agencies that eventually saw them arresting Mas Selamat in Johor in April. It was not the first time that information from Singapore helped to nab the escape artist. In February 2003, tip-offs by the Singapore authorities had led Indonesian police to monitor Mas Selamat's movements after he arrived in Indonesia. They tracked him to Tanjung Pinang in Bintan, arresting him just after he arrived by ferry from Dumai in Riau.
Terrorist Hid in Malaysian Village After Escaping from Singapore
Mas Selemat lived for more than a year in an isolated Malaysian hamlet undetected. The Star daily reported that he lived in Tawakal, a village of less than 100 people in the southern Johor state. It said residents were shocked to find out the fugitive had been living among them. They said he rarely left his wooden house on stilts. "He never spoke to anyone and kept to himself. And he never prayed at the local prayer room," resident Mohamad Saat said. [Source: AP, May 11, 2009 /=]
Associated Press reported: “Mas Selamat, the alleged Singapore commander of the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah group, was sometimes seen gardening or fishing in a canal behind his house, and went out rarely. If he did, it was usually after dark, dressed in a long white robe and white turban, the report said. Mas Selamat escaped from a high-security Singapore jail on February 27, 2008, which severely embarrassed the city-state known for its rigorous security. According to Singapore authorities, he was caught again on April 1 by Malaysian security forces. /=\
“Mas Selamat, who walks with a limp, is said to have used an improvised flotation device to swim across the Strait of Johor — the narrow waterway that separates Malaysia from Singapore — after his escape. He escaped detention in Singapore by wriggling out a bathroom window just ahead of a scheduled visit by his family. /=\
“It was unclear why he ended up in Tawakal, where he rented the basement of a two-story wooden house on stilts, and how authorities learned of his whereabouts. The Star said Tawakal lies in a remote neighbourhood surrounded by oil palms about 10km from the North-South Expressway that stretches the length of Malaysia. The report said Mas Selamat was captured in a pre-dawn police raid on his house. The landlord of the house, who lived upstairs, was also arrested, it said. It quoted resident Mohamad Saat Marjo as saying that some 30 armed policemen surrounded the house and ordered Mas Selamat to come out before breaking through the doors. They led him out with his face covered in a dark blue checkered cloth.” /=\
Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Singapore Tourism Board, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books, websites and other publications.
Last updated June 2015