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10 June 2003

Ministry of Home Affairs Press Statement on the Arrest of Jemaah Islamiyah Fugitive - Arifin bin Ali @ John Wong, 10 Jun 03

Arrest of Jemaah Islamiyah fugitive - Arifin bin Ali @ John Wong

Arifin bin Ali @ John Wong Ah Hung, a 42-year-old Singaporean Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) fugitive, was apprehended in Bangkok by the Thai authorities on 16 May 2003 following information given by the Internal Security Department (ISD). A warrant of arrest was also issued against Arifin by the Singapore Subordinate Court on 13 May 2003. Arifin was repatriated to Singapore on 17 May 2003. He was arrested by ISD officers on arrival at Changi Airport and is currently detained under the Internal Security Act.

2 Arifin bin Ali is a senior member of the Singapore JI organization. He was a trainer in the JI's Tajnid (military training and security ) Unit. In 1999, he underwent training in the handling of weapons and explosives at the Moro Islamic Liberation Front's Camp Abu Bakar in Mindanao.

3 Arifin fled to Malaysia in Dec 2001 when the security operation against the local JI network in Singapore was mounted. In Malaysia, Arifin was tasked by Singapore JI leader, Mas Selamat, to lead the other Singapore JI fugitives. Mas Selamat then took 4 JI members with him to Thailand to plan the hijack of a plane from Bangkok to crash into Changi Airport. The plan was aborted when it was exposed, following an aviation alert initiated by the Singapore authorities.

4 Arifin went into hiding in Thailand in Jan 2002 where he has remained until his repatriation. Arifin has disclosed to the ISD that he is involved with a group of like-minded individuals in planning terrorist attacks against certain targets in Thailand. Five foreign embassies, including the Singapore embassy, in Bangkok were among those targetted. This information was subsequently conveyed to the Thai authorities. The Thai and Singapore authorities are working closely in the on-going investigations.

Ministry of Home Affairs
10 June 2003

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