Syrians linked to Islamic State in Thailand "to attack Russian interests"

Russia began air strikes against Islamic State in Syria on Sept. 30 and has stepped up attacks in recent weeks.

Syrians linked to Islamic State in Thailand "to attack Russian interests"

Bangkok: Ten Syrians linked to Islamic State (IS) entered Thailand in October to attack Russian interests, Thai police said in a leaked document citing information from the Russian Federal Security Service.

In the document, Special Branch police urged an intensification of security around "target areas that Russian authorities are concerned about", including venues associated with allies that have taken part in attacks on IS in Syria.

Russia began air strikes in Syria on Sept. 30 and has stepped up attacks in recent weeks. An IS affiliate claimed responsibility for downing a Russian airliner over Egypt`s Sinai peninsula in October, killing all 224 people on board.

Thailand`s Special Branch, which deals with national security issues, circulated the document to other police units.

Marked "Urgent" and dated Nov. 27, the Special Branch police said intelligence from Russia warned that 10 Syrians "related to" IS entered Thailand between Oct. 15 and Oct. 31. The document was circulating on social media on Thursday.

"The document is real. We received it from Special Branch," said a police officers who handles international crime matters. He declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

"The original communication was by word of mouth between Russian and Thai police. I don`t know how the document leaked."

The Special Branch said four of the suspects travelled to the seaside city of Pattaya, two to the tourist island of Phuket, two to Bangkok and two to an unknown destination.

Police had not received warnings about IS activity from any other foreign intelligence agency, Deputy Police Spokesman Songpol Wattanachai told reporters, adding that police had no information about their whereabouts, identity or possible targets.

"We`re still trying to work out whether they even came in," he said, when asked if they could still be in the country.

National Security Council Chief General Thawip Netniyom said security units had been told to be vigilant.

"We have yet to find any unusual movement," he told reporters. "Everything is safe, rest assured."

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