BANGKOK - Thai investigators believe they have found a link between this week's bomb blasts in Bangkok and New Delhi, a senior security official said on Wednesday, two of three botched attacks Israel has blamed on Iran.
has strongly denied involvement in the attacks on Monday and Tuesday,
including a bomb that failed to explode in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.
whether the explosives used in India and Thailand were the same, a
senior Thai security official said they both had the same "magnetic
"The individual was in possession of the same magnets
and we are currently examining the source of the magnet," National
Security Council Secretary Wichian Podphosri said.
A man carrying
an Iranian passport lost a leg when a bomb he was carrying in Bangkok
went off on Tuesday after an earlier explosion, apparently accidental,
at a house he was renting. His second leg had to be amputated.
said he had been charged with illegal possession of explosives, causing
explosions, attempted murder and assaulting a police officer.
A senior Thai official said Wednesday that Iranian suspects detained over the failed attack aimed to assassinate Israeli diplomats, AFP reported.
"These three Iranian men are an assassination team and their targets were Israeli diplomats including the ambassador," AFP quoted the intelligence official as saying. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official added that "their plan was to attach bombs to diplomats' cars."
American, British and Australian embassies in Bangkok told their
citizens to be vigilant in the light of the explosions but did not
advise against travel to the capital.
A day earlier in the Indian capital, a bomb wrecked a car
taking an Israeli embassy official to pick up her children from school,
police said. The woman was in stable condition on Wednesday after
surgery to her spine and liver.
Her driver and two passers-by suffered lesser injuries in the attack which police believe was also a botched job.
motorbike rider who stuck the bomb on to the car put it on the opposite
side to the petrol tank -- if it had been on the tank side it would
have been a bigger blast and likely caused fatalities. Media said five
people had been detained for questioning.
Israeli officials said an attempt to bomb an embassy car in Tbilisi failed and the device was defused.
police spokesman Rajan Bhagat confirmed that the blast there was caused
by a "sticky bomb". He said witnesses saw a lone motorbike rider attach
the device to the right rear side of the car in which the Israeli
diplomat's wife was traveling.
He said the device, which was
about the size of an iPad, would have exploded about three to five
seconds after it was stuck to the vehicle and magnetic fragments were
found at the scene.
"This is the first time that this modus
operandi has been seen in India," Bhagat told Reuters. "We don't yet
have the evidence to point the finger at anybody. We are exploring all
Indian media said investigators were scanning
records of all Iranian nationals as well as Lebanese students who
arrived in the country in recent months.
Indian police detained five suspects for questioning Wednesday in relation to the bombing, India Today reported. One of those detained was employed at a courier company.
Video footage obtained by local police showed men loitering around the Israeli embassy in the Khan Market area, a favored location for foreign nationals, according to the report.
No link made to previous attack
the Bangkok attack, one bomb went off in the bombers' home. Another was
thrown at a taxi that wouldn't take him. The third blew off the
bomber's leg when he tried to throw it at police and it either went off
before he could throw it or hit something and ricocheted back towards
Two other men shared the rented house with him. One was
arrested at Bangkok's international airport on Tuesday but the third had
slipped past security at the airport and fled to Malaysia, Wichian
"Our latest intelligence is that the suspect has escaped
from Thailand ... to Malaysia already," Deputy National Police Commander
Pansiri Prapawat told a news conference.
Thai police declined to make any link between Tuesday's explosions and the arrest last month of a Lebanese man in Bangkok who, according to the Thai authorities, had links to Hezbollah.
Police discovered a large amount of explosive material in an area southwest of Bangkok at around the time of that arrest. The United States, Israel and other countries issued warnings, subsequently lifted, of possible terrorist attacks in areas frequented by foreigners.
investigation, it appears that the incident is more of an
individual-focused plot rather than targeting landmark areas," Wichian
said. "At the moment, we haven't found any connection to the Lebanese