Thailand says looking for four Syrians amid Islamic State warning

December 6, 2015 15:26

BANGKOK - Thailand said on Sunday it was looking for four Syrian nationals who have overstayed their visas, as the country is on high alert after a Russian warning of possible attacks by suspected Syrian members of Islamic State.

The authorities did not suggest the four men were a security threat but said they were unaccounted for, and released their names and photographs.

Last week, a document from the Thai Special Branch police leaked to social media showed it had been warned by the Russian intelligence service that 10 Syrians linked to Islamic State had entered Thailand in October intending to attack Russian interests.

The warning prompted Thailand to step up security around potential targets, including in the cities of Pattaya and Phuket, both popular with tourists and home to large Russian expatriate communities.

However, the Immigration Bureau said the four Syrian men being sought had entered Thailand between April and October, not in the timeframe specified by Russian intelligence.

"Of the four who are unaccounted for, we may just want to locate them to charge them for overstaying, that is all," Immigration Bureau commissioner Nathathorn Prausoontorn said.

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