A Terrorist in Thailand – a Timeline
13 Jan – American embassy announces ‘’foreign terrorists may be currently looking to conduct attacks against tourist areas in Bangkok in the near future.’’
13 Jan – Hezbollah terrorist arrested in Bangkok
15 Jan – Deputy Prime Minister Kowit Wattana said “ the situation is under control”
16 Jan – Kowit further adds “The government can take care of people’s security and they need not be concerned about the terrorist warning issued by several foreign countries.”
16 Jan – Police discover more than 4 tonnes of explosive material just outside Bangkok in a space rented by the Hezbollah terrorist.
It’s being reported in the Israeli press (and it was the Israelis that uncovered the plot) that the intention was to launch two attacks, one on Khao San Road – an area very popular with backpackers – and on a Jewish centre. The Thai language press reports that the terrorist had in place two large trucks to transport the explosive. However, the Thai police line is that the explosives were to be sent to other countries, simply making Bangkok a hub of international terrorism – so that’s OK, then. And we really don’t need to worry about the rest of the gang who are presumably still at large.
A couple of unanswered questions:
(1) If the US embassy hadn’t gone public, would the Thai authorities have done anything? (They’d already been informed of the threat by the Americans several weeks ago.)
(2) The US embassy is refusing to retract its warning of an imminent terrorist attack, despite the Thai PM’s request. What do the Americans know?