Interpol said Friday it has issued a worldwide security alert following the escape of an alleged Islamic terror leader from a jail in Singapore.
The international police organization said it put out an "Orange Notice" for Mas Selamat Kastari, a suspected commander of the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah's Singapore arm.
Mas Selamat, 47, who is accused of once plotting to hijack a plane and crash it into Singapore's international airport, escaped from a detention center Wednesday.
The Interpol notice, which includes Mas Selamat's photograph and fingerprints, was issued to the group's 186 national member bureaus following a request by Singapore, the agency said in a statement on its Web site.
"When it comes to escapes, the first hours are crucial," Interpol's executive director of police services, Jean-Michel Louboutin, told The Associated Press. "The state of Singapore has put into operation everything that's needed to be done. It's a small country, so it's easy to cross and leave."
Louboutin said authorities have "no trail for the moment." Mas Selamat is "someone who presents a potential physical danger to others, but also a potential danger by organizing future bombings," he said.
The government has said Mas Selamat escaped due to a "security lapse" at the detention center. He had been taken from his cell to a room where he was waiting for his family to make a scheduled visit. He escaped after being granted permission to visit the washroom, authorities said.
Singaporean authorities have launched a nationwide manhunt for the man they say walks with a limp and is not known to be armed. Police and military personnel set up a blockade around the detention center, while security was tightened at the city-state's land, air and sea entry ports.
It takes less than an hour to drive from one end of Singapore to the other. The affluent, highly modernized Southeast Asian country is only a short boat ride from Indonesia and Malaysia.
Indonesian immigration authorities put border areas on "high alert" in case Mas Selamat attempted to enter the country, Indonesia's presidential spokesman, Dino Pati Djalalan, said Thursday.
"Until now there has been no report that Kastari has entered Indonesia," he said.
Security breaches are virtually unheard of in Singapore, a small and densely populated island whose sophisticated intelligence system has been liberally used to ensure order and safety.
Among its biggest successes were pre-empting alleged plots to bomb the U.S. Embassy, the American Club and government buildings in 2001 _ schemes in which Mas Selamat allegedly had a hand.
Mas Selamat, said to be a father of five, fled Singapore in December 2001 following the arrests of 13 other suspected Jemaah Islamiyah members. Indonesian authorities detained and deported him to Singapore in February 2006, and he had since been held in the city-state under the Internal Security Act, which allows for indefinite detention without trial.
Singapore, a close ally of the United States, was named an al-Qaida target in a transcript from alleged al-Qaida operative Khalid Sheikh Mohamed's Combatant Status Review Tribunal, held last year at the U.S. military detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Associated Press writers Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia, and John Leicester in Paris contributed to this report.