Thai police say Bangkok bomb plot called off
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Last Updated: Saturday, January 14, 2012, 23:25
Bangkok: An alleged terrorist plot aimed at Bangkok that sparked urgent warnings of danger from the United States and Israel has been thwarted, Thai police said on Saturday.

National Police Chief Gen Priewpan Damapong said the alleged bombing scheme was called off by the alleged plotters, two Lebanese men said to be linked to pro-Iranian Hezbollah militants. One man was in custody for questioning, and the other was at large.

The US Embassy had circulated a warning yesterday that there was a "real and credible" terrorist threat against Americans in Bangkok, and Israel issued a similar warning to its citizens. Thai authorities confirmed being informed of a plot, and said they were pursuing the missing suspect.

The warnings came during heightened tension over US and Israeli responses to the prospect that Iran is going forward with developing nuclear weapons.

Priewpan's remarks came less than 12 hours after police held a hastily arranged news conference late last night in which they circulated a sketch of the missing suspect, with a call for the public to help track him down. They said the man in custody told them the plot was supposed to be carried out between January 13 and 15.

Thailand seemed to have been caught by surprise by the publicity over the alleged plot, which officials said they had been informed about before New Year's. The US Embassy warning was the first public notice of the affair, and Defense Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapa said Thai authorities did not release news of the alleged plot because of fears that it would hurt the tourist industry and cause panic.


First Published: Saturday, January 14, 2012, 23:25

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