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Terror suspect taken in Malaysia

A MILITANT leader suspected of a 9/11-style plot to crash a hijacked plane has been arrested in Malaysia, more than a year after his dramatic escape from a high-security jail in Singapore, officials said yesterday.

Mas Selamat Kastari was arrested with the cooperation of Singaporean, Malaysian and Indonesian intelligence agencies, Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said.

"Mas Selamat is under our detention and being investigated right now. He was planning something," Hishamuddin said. He refused to give details, and also would not say if Mas Selamat would be handed over to Singapore, where he was previously jailed.

The suspected commander of the Singapore arm of al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah, Mas Selamat escaped from jail on February 27, 2008, by wriggling out of a bathroom window in a surprising security breach that sparked a massive manhunt.

The search largely focused on Singapore and neighboring Indonesia, where the local branch of Jemaah Islamiyah was thought likely to find him shelter. The group is accused of carrying out the 2002 bombings in Bali, Indonesia, that left 202 people dead.

But Mas Selamat was arrested in Malaysia's southern Johor state, bordering Singapore, said Walter Chia, a spokesman for Singapore's embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

"The arrest was made possible with the cooperation of the two countries," Chia told reporters.

Mas Selamat, who is known to walk with a limp, is accused of plotting to hijack a plane and crash it into Singapore's airport. He was being held under Singapore's Internal Security Act, which allows detention without trial.


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