The city-state's authorities have added a new twist to their account of the alleged al-Qaeda bomb plot that they foiled last year, saying a squad of foreign suicide bombers was to have carried out the strikes. The suggestion that non-Singaporean operatives were involved indicates that the terrorist plan was more sophisticated than officials have previously claimed. A Ministry of Home Affairs spokesman said yesterday the alleged local agents of the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) network 'were to leave Singapore a few days before the [strikes]'. The suicide bombers were to be foreigners arranged by 'Sammy', he added. Officials said 'Sammy', believed to be a 20-year-old Kuwaiti, was the leader of the plot, aimed at diplomatic, military and commercial targets using truck bombs made from ammonium nitrate. 'Sammy', travelling under a Canadian passport bearing the name Jabarah Mohammed Mansour, was reportedly detained by authorities in Oman earlier this month, according to Malaysian security sources. Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew told a security conference in May that the plotters had planned to assemble seven truck bombs, each more powerful than the 1995 Oklahoma City truck bomb that killed 168 people. 'They were to be placed and detonated simultaneously. They knew that after one explosion, security would be tightened,' Mr Lee said. If authorities are correct - and some of their claims have been corroborated by a lawyer for one of the accused - the Singapore plot would have involved more than half a dozen suicide bombers. The September 11 strikes in New York and the Pentagon involved 19 hijackers. American authorities have assumed the terrorist plot involved a 20th member who - for unknown reasons - did not take part in the raids. The Singapore plot was made public in January, a month after 15 Singaporean suspected to be JI members were taken into custody. Two have been released and 13 are being held under the Internal Security Act without trial. The Ministry of Home Affairs has said that JI was part of an Islamic terrorist network with extensive links to al-Qaeda. Its ultimate aim is said to be the creation of an Islamic state uniting Southeast Asia's Muslims. According to Singaporean authorities, many JI members received military training in Afghanistan and were well connected to other regional rebel groups, including Islamic secessionist movements in the southern Philippines. This week's statement from the Home Affairs Ministry reiterated claims that a second non-Singaporean, codenamed 'Mike', was also a key plotter. 'Mike' was arrested in January by Philippine authorities, who identified him as Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi, a 31-year-old Indonesian believed to be a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front based in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. The Singapore official said 'Sammy' was the brains behind the plot to bomb targets in Singapore, including the US and Israeli embassies, while 'Mike' was 'the senior JI operative who would supervise the bomb construction'. In April, a Philippine court sentenced Al-Ghozi to 12 years in prison for possessing explosives. He also received two jail terms of four to six years each for falsifying documents. Philippine police said Al-Ghozi had five passports, all in different names, when he was arrested. They said Al-Ghozi led them to an arms cache in the southern Philippines which included a tonne of TNT, 300 detonators and 17 rifles. Officials said he admitted to having helped procure the explosives, saying these were to be transported to Singapore.