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 Friday, 10 January, 2003, 10:33 GMT
Singapore details terror network
Mindanao, southern Philippines
The report says JI trained in the southern Philippines
Singapore has said that it has discovered close ties between Jemaah Islamiah - widely blamed for the Bali bombing - and other Islamic militants in South East Asia.

A White Paper published by Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs said the training of JI militants was carried out at the base of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a Philippines group.

The 50-page report also revealed more details of alleged plots by JI to attack Western interests in Singapore in 2001 or 2002.

It said that JI was planning to import Arab suicide bombers to carry out the attacks on US naval facilities, the Israeli embassy and the Australian and British high commissions.

Militant training

The report said that sometime in 1997, the MILF allowed JI to set up its own training facility within the MILF's headquarters at Camp Abu Bakar on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao.

"Training within this camp ranged from the basic to more specialised training in explosives-handling," it said.

The MILF has been waging a separatist struggle in the southern Philippines island of Mindanao for the past 20 years, although it signed a now shaky ceasefire with the government in 2001.

The report also revealed for the first time that among the targets in JI's Singapore bomb plot was the American School, which is attended by some 3,000 mostly US students.

"The terrorist plan was to rig up six truck bombs, each with three tonnes of AN (ammonium nitrate) and to simultaneously attack six locations in Singapore," the ministry said.

It said the plan was scheduled to take place in December 2001/January 2002 or April/May 2002.

Threat remains

But the plot was foiled when Singapore began arresting suspected JI members, 31 of whom are now being detained under Singapore's Internal Security Act.

The report said that after the second batch of suspects was arrested in August last year, "the JI network in Singapore has been severely disrupted" but bomb attacks in Bali and the Philippines demonstrated the threat was "far from over".

It also warned of daily repercussions from the JI arrests for the Singapore bomb plot.

"Besides, JI, other militant groups in the region may also want to mount attacks to show their solidarity with JI and to retaliate", for the detentions.

Singapore will now "investigate more deeply" groups such as the MILF, the report said.

See also:

16 Sep 02 | Asia-Pacific
06 Dec 01 | Asia-Pacific
26 Nov 02 | Asia-Pacific
05 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
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