Thais find possible bomb link in Thai, India attacks

Evidence supports accusation Iran is behind bombings.

February 16, 2012 01:21
2 minute read.
Thai policeman at the scene of Bangkok bombing

Thai policeman at the scene of Bangkok bombing 390 (R). (photo credit: Damir Sagolij/Reuters)


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Investigators in Thailand have found a connection between the blasts in Bangkok and New Delhi, backing up Israel’s accusation that Iran is behind the recent spate of terrorist bombings.

Security officials in Thailand said the bombs discovered in the home rented by the Iranian-backed terrorist cell in Bangkok on Tuesday, and the one which blew up an Israeli diplomatic car in New Delhi on Monday, were similar.

The growing assessment shared by Israel is that the cell planned to use the bombs it was assembling to attack Israeli diplomats in the city, including the ambassador.

Israel is maintaining its heightened state of alert at missions overseas amid fears that Iran and Hezbollah are plotting additional attacks that could be launched in the coming days.

On Wednesday, Thailand’s Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul acknowledged that the Bangkok attack was “similar to the assassination attempt against [an Israeli] diplomat in India.”

In that attack on Monday, an Israeli diplomat was seriously wounded in a blast in New Delhi when a motorbike-driving assailant attached a bomb to her car.

Another bomb was discovered under an Israeli Embassy car in Tbilisi, Georgia. It was safely defused.

Thai investigators noted that the bombs used in New Delhi and Bangkok were installed with a similar magnetic device designed to attach the bombs to cars.

In the two-story house the three Iranian men had rented – with an Iranian woman, who is believed to have fled Thailand – police found smaller explosives as well as magnets for attaching them to cars.

Itzhak Shoham, Israel’s ambassador to Thailand, insisted there was a link between the three attacks.

“If you put together all the details that we have until now, including the disclosure of the explosives, they are very similar, if not the same that were used against our diplomats and our people in India and Georgia,” he told Thai television.

Thai police have in custody two of the Iranian cell members – Saeid Morabi, who remains in critical condition after his losing his legs in one of the blasts on Tuesday, and Muhammad Hazaei, who was caught trying to board a flight to Malaysia. The third member of the group, identified as Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, managed to flee to Malaysia but has since been arrested in Kuala Lumpur.

In the Bangkok attack, one explosive went off in the bombers’ home. Another was thrown at a taxi that refused to take one of the men who left the house.

The third blew off the bomber’s legs when he tried to throw it at police – it either went off before he could throw it or it hit something and ricocheted back at him.

Iran dismissed the allegations on Wednesday, saying Israel often made such accusations.

“We are not accepting, we are denying this. And I don’t know how they can assume within a short time of one hour who has done this. It has happened in India. If India’s security says something like that then we have to verify,” Iran’s envoy to India, Seyed Mehdi Nabizadeh, told reporters.

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