Palm Tree in Thailand, Koh Chang_311.
(photo credit: Elana Kirsh)
Thai police discovered bombmaking material after the detention of a Lebanese man
suspected of planning an attack, but the prime minister insisted Monday that
everything was under control.
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Authorities beefed up security in parts of
the capital and other areas popular with tourists after the United States and
Israel warned on Friday of a possible terrorist attack.
Police detained a
Lebanese man reportedly carrying a Swedish passport. Officials said he had links
National police chief Priewpan Damapong told reporters the
suspect, named as Atris Hussein, had given police an address where bomb-making
material was being kept.
Officers discovered large amounts of substances
that could be used to make explosives in a building in Samut Sakhon, southwest
of Bangkok, including 4,380 kg of urea and 40 liters of liquid ammonium
Damapong said the suspect maintained his group had not planned
an attack in Thailand but intended to transport the substances to a third
The officer declined to give the destination.
the discovery, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told reporters: “I have been
informed. I would like to ask people not to panic.
We are currently in
control of the situation.”
Defense Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapha told
reporters in the northern city of Chiang Mai on Sunday that Thailand was not the
target, although officials have also said that areas of Bangkok frequented by
Westerners and Israelis could be hit.
Yuthasak said a second suspect had
managed to leave the country. Police said the detained suspect had not yet been
charged with any offense.
Thai officials have seemed irritated by travel
advisories issued by the US and Israeli governments, followed by several more
since Friday, and Foreign Minister Surapong Towijakchaikul said diplomats from
countries that had issued warnings would meet with him for an explanation on
At a meeting Monday of the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and
Diaspora Committee, committee chairman Danny Danon (Likud) suggested Israeli
tourists should be given information allowing them to report potential terror
In the meeting called following the threats on Jewish
targets in Thailand, Danon said Israeli tourists should pass to each other
police composite pictures of those suspected of planning the
“There is no difference between threats on Israeli and Jewish
targets,” the Likud MK said. “Israel is the Jewish state, and as such, must show
responsibility in this matter.”
Foreign Ministry representative Shmuel
Ben-Shmuel said the Israeli Embassy in Thailand is in contact with local
security whenever there is a threat. He explained the topic of terrorists
targeting Jews abroad is constantly discussed in the ministry.