Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Americans In Thailand Warned Of Terror Attacks

Americans In Thailand Warned Of Terror Attacks


by Richard S. Ehrlich

BANGKOK, Thailand -- The U.S. Embassy has advised Americans in Thailand to conduct anti-terrorist "emergency drills" at home and at work after police arrested three Muslims allegedly plotting to bomb embassies and tourist sites, and captured another man selling radioactive material which could create a "dirty bomb."

Thai police spent Saturday (June 21) hunting for a fourth Thai Muslim, Samarn Waekaji, in connection with the three arrested men who allegedly conspired to bomb the U.S., British, Australian, Israeli and Singaporean embassies, along with major tourist venues in Bangkok.

U.S. investigators meanwhile continued a separate investigation into the origin of radioactive cesium-137 which a Thai teacher was allegedly trying to sell to U.S. and Thai agents in a Bangkok hotel parking lot.

There was no indication that the two cases were linked, and it appeared that U.S. and Thai officials were treating them as different investigations.

"If you have been reading the newspapers or watching TV over the last two weeks, you are probably wondering what exactly is going on in Thailand concerning terrorism and how it relates to Americans residing here," the U.S. Embassy said in "security update" to Americans residing in this Southeast Asian nation.

"You have most likely seen the story about the three men arrested in southern Thailand for plotting attacks against several embassies and soft targets in Thailand, and the more recent arrest involving a person selling material for possible use in a 'dirty bomb'," the U.S. advisory said.

The U.S. embassy assured expatriate Americans that recent international efforts have hampered terrorists, including "arrests in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia, the United States, and many other places around the world."

It also praised Thai authorities for being "very active in pursuing matters related to terrorism" and expressed confidence in Thailand's ability to reduce the threat.

"While we will continue to work closely with the Thai authorities with regard to the safety of the American community, we urge you to remain proactive in your personal security practices," said the warning, issued on Friday (June 20).

"You should remain vigilant and prepared. Consider holding emergency drills for your family or business, and report suspicious persons and incidents to the police immediately."

Thailand's population is about 95 percent Buddhist, and its Muslim community lives mostly in the south along the border with Muslim-majority Malaysia.

Bangkok is a relatively modern, sprawling city of six million people with low-key security, despite the recent arrests. A police presence is visible at the gates of major embassies and at some tourist sites, but the atmosphere is usually relaxed.

Three Thai Muslims were arrested on June 10 in southern Thailand suspected of belonging to Jemaah Islamiyah, a pan-Asian militant group blamed for the October 12, 2002 bombing in Bali, Indonesia, which killed 202 people.

The trio was identified as Islamic religious teacher Maisuri Haji Abdulloh, his son Muyahi Haji Doloh, and drugstore owner Waemahadi Waedao.

"The plan was for high-powered explosives to be concealed in vehicles that would be parked at the targeted places, ready to explode," Interior Minister Wan Mohammad Matha told journalists shortly after the arrests.

The men denied the charges and their lawyer insisted they did not confess or possess any incriminating evidence.

Three days later in a separate case, U.S. Customs officials helped Thai police arrest a Thai man in Bangkok who allegedly offered to sell them a box containing cesium-137, which is used in medical and research technology but can be mixed with an explosive to create a small "dirty bomb" which spreads the radioactive material.

U.S. and Thai investigators who interrogated the suspect, Narong Penanam, were trying to find out if he was a middle-man of a gang who may have more cesium-137 stashed for sale.

*****

Richard S. Ehrlich, a freelance journalist who has reported news from Asia for the past 25 years, is co-author of the non-fiction book, "HELLO MY BIG BIG HONEY!" -- Love Letters to Bangkok Bar Girls and Their Revealing Interviews. His web page is http://www.geocities.com/glossograph/

-ENDS-


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news