Police hunt 5th bomb suspect | Bangkok Post: news
Police hunt 5th bomb suspect
Police will seek an arrest warrant for a fifth suspect in Tuesday's bomb explosions in Bangkok based on information from eyewitnesses and security camera footage, deputy police chief Pansiri Prapawat said on Thursday.
Deputy police chief Pansiri Prapawat (Photo POST TODAY)
Pol Gen Pansiri said the fifth suspect was also a man of middle-eastern appearance. The other four suspects have been identified as Iranians, one of them a woman.
Police were checking if he was still in the country.
Pol Gen Pansiri said police had learned that Rohani Leila, the female suspect who had returned to Tehran, had rented a second house in Bangkok.
A court warrant was being sought to search the house to see if it had been used as a place to assemble bombs.
He reaffirmed that no emblems or other material symbolic of international terrorism were found in the search of the house in Soi Pridi Banomyong 31, off Sukhumvit soi 71, where the first of the three bombs went off on Tuesday.
In Thailand, Suvarnabhumi airport director Somchai Sawasdipol said authorities have tightened security after a failed bomb plot in central Bangkok.
"We are stepping up overall surveillance and will focus on passengers behaving suspiciously as well as abandoned luggage or packages," said Mr Somchai.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) secretary-general Supachai Panitchpakdi said the government should to impose more stringent immigration controls to prevent bad guys entering Thailand.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) secretary-general Supachai Panitchpakdi (Photo by Kosol Nakachol)
"Of course tourist spots must be guaranteed safety and security, but the authorities should also introduce more stringent screening measures at immigration. We should not be too worried that this could have an adverse impact to tourism," said Mr Supachai, speaking on the sideline of an economic conference in Bangkok.
He said the three explosions reflected increasing global tensions, but Thailand had to stand firm in saying that this is not a problem stemming from domestic affairs.
"Our security is sufficient and we have to show the world that we are ready with preventative measures now and when needed," the Thai economist said.
The United States had imposed strict immigration measures after the Sept 11 attacks and other countries also saw the necessity to take similar steps.
"Thailand can do a similar thing, a little inconvenience for visitors and tourists to ensure security for all should not be a worry,"
Two other Iranians have already been charged in Thailand in connection with Tuesday's bomb incident, the third to shake world capitals in less than 24 hours.
Thai police say Israeli diplomats were the intended targets of the botched plot, prompting Israeli accusations that Iran was behind a terror campaign, which Tehran has denied.
One of the suspects had his legs blown off as he tried to hurl an explosive device at Thai police while fleeing after an apparently unintended explosion at a Bangkok house, officials said.
He was said to be in stable condition in a Bangkok hospital.
The other Iranian suspect was detained trying to board a flight out of Thailand on Tuesday evening.
Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said the Iranian bomb suspect arrested in Malaysia will be extradited to Thailand once formalities are completed.
Thai security guards inspect a car entering a parking lot of the building which houses the Israeli embassy a day after multiple explosions in Bangkok on February 15, 2012. (Photo AFP)
Masoud Sedaghat Zadeh, 31, was apprehended on Wednesday by Malaysian authorities in Kuala Lumpur.
Mr Surapong said police were already working with Malaysian authorities for his extradition.
Malaysian Police chief Ismail Omar said the Iranian was arrested under provisions of the Immigration Act of Malaysia following information provided by Thai authorities.
Malaysia's Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Mr Zadeh had been attempting to fly to Iran.
Mr Zadeh's arrest at Kuala Lumpur international airport showed Malaysia was "very serious and committed'' to addressing the threat of terrorism, said the minister
"The authorities of this country will never allow Malaysia to become a location, base, or transit point for terrorists or individuals who are wanted by any other country,'' he said.
Suvarnabhumi airport director Somchai Sawasdipol said authorities have tightened security.