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Thursday, 19 September, 2002, 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK
Suspects 'plotted Islamic state'
Guards outside facility where suspects held
The arrests were Singapore's second major sweep
Singapore says a group of terror suspects it arrested were planning attacks as part of a plot to bring down the government in Malaysia and establish an Islamic state.

The suspects allegedly hoped attacks on crucial installations in Singapore would be seen as an act of aggression by the Malaysian Government which would "generate animosity and distrust" between the two states.

Targets are said to have included vital water supply pipelines from Malaysia, Singapore's Changi airport, an island housing oil installations, and the defence headquarters.

"The aim was to create a situation in Malaysia and Singapore conducive to overthrowing the Malaysian Government and making Malaysia an Islamic state," a Singaporean Government statement said.

The report published on Thursday provided more details about the arrest of 21 suspects last month.

News of their arrest was only announced on Monday.
Policeman arrests man in Saddam Hussein mask
Singapore police have been on high alert

They are said to be linked to Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network and some had undergone military training at camps in Afghanistan, the government said earlier.

The arrests marked Singapore's second major sweep against alleged al-Qaeda members.

In December 13 other terror suspects were arrested.

Network 'disrupted'

Apart from the Singaporean interests, other targets included a US vessel at the Changi naval base and a bar believed to be frequented by US military personnel.

British High Commission in Singapore closed on 11 September 2002
There have been fears of attacks on US and UK interests

"So far, none of these efforts are known to have led to any fully developed or finalised plans for attack", the report said.

Most of those arrested last month are alleged to be members of a group called Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) - the same group as that involved in the previous arrests.

The authorities claimed the latest arrests had seriously disrupted the JI network in the city state.

Those detained are all are said to be citizens of Singapore.

Most are being held under Singapore's Internal Security Act which allows for indefinite detention.


Key stories

European probe

Background

IN DEPTH
See also:

18 Sep 02 | Asia-Pacific
16 Sep 02 | Asia-Pacific
11 Jan 02 | Asia-Pacific
12 Jan 02 | Asia-Pacific
05 Jan 02 | Asia-Pacific
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