Singapore raises security levels after terror warning

17:56, March 05, 2010      

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Singapore has raised its security levels after receiving warnings of possible terror attack against oil tankers in the Malacca Strait, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

According to Channel NewsAsia reports on Friday, Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng confirmed in the Parliament that all alert levels have been raised in the city state, not just for ships in the Malacca Strait but also security measures undertaken here.

Security was beefed up at airport and casino resorts.

As for the recent security alert in the Malacca Strait issued by the Singapore Navy (RSN), Wong said that they received intelligence from their liaison partners about this possible plot to go and attack vessels coming through Singapore waters through the Malacca Strait.

As a result, the various security agencies have been working very closely with one another, including the RSN and also its foreign liaison partners. Singapore is also working very closely with the shipping community, he said, adding that the terror threat remains real for the city state.

The appeal of extremist and terrorist ideology is very much alive, while terrorist tradecraft and methods are also evolving, hence, Singapore has undertaken measures to harden its security from the land checkpoints to the seas, he said.

He added that high-risk targets such as the Integrated Resorts (IRs) have also been hardened.

On Thursday, the Singapore Navy Information Fusion Center warned that an unidentified terrorist group is planning attacks against oil tankers in the Malacca Strait, and smaller vessels such as speed boats and fishing boats could be used by the militants to attack oil tankers in the 900-km long Malacca Strait.

Although the Singapore Navy did not specify which group was suspected, local anti-terror experts believe that they can not rule out the possibilities of such attacks linking to Jemaah Islamiyah, one of the most active terror networks in Southeast Asia, and the international terrorist group of Al Qaeda.

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