20 September 2002 11:57 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--Singapore's JTC Corp, the landlord for the Jurong Island petrochemical complex, has further tightened security on the republic's chemical hub following the arrests of 21 alleged terrorists under the Internal Security Act, a company spokesman told CNI on Friday.
As alleged members of the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) terrorist network, the 21 arrested on Thursday had identified Jurong Island as one of their targets for attacks, according to the Singapore authorities. Other targets included Singapore's Changi Airport and the water pipeline from Johor, Malaysia.
The JTC spokesman said Jurong Island had been gazetted as a protected area since 6 October 2001. Since then, roadblocks and heavy vehicle checks were carried out at a nearby car park before being allowed onto the island.
Furthermore, all visitors entering Jurong have to first exchange their personal identification documents for a visitor's pass. Security checks and patrols were also being carried out on the island.
The spokesman added that JTC had been working closely with Jurong tenants through regular dialogues and feedback sessions for fine-tuning the existing security measures.
This is the second time since the 11 September attacks on the US that the Singapore government has arrested suspected members of a terrorist network. In December last year, it arrested several Singaporeans who had allegedly targeted US armed forces personnel in the country.
Local media reported that the alleged JI members arrested yesterday had carried out night inspections on Jurong Island last August to take note of the companies operating on the island and the frequency of police patrols.
It was reported that some of these members had undergone training in Afghanistan to handle explosives and anti-aircraft guns while some had attended terrorist training in the Philippines and Malaysia.
The Singapore government have detained 18 of the 21 suspects for two years while the remaining three have been served Restriction Orders forbidding them to leave Singapore without official consent.
Singapore's Jurong Island is home to some 70 chemical companies, including ExxonMobil, Shell Chemicals, Sumitomo Chemical, Mitsui Chemicals and Chevron Phillips Chemical.
ExxonMobil and Shell each own a cracker on Jurong each of 800 000 tonne/year and 1.1m tonne/year respectively. Shell's cracker is a joint venture with a Japanese consortium led by Sumitomo.
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