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Old 16-02-2012, 09:57 AM   #126 (permalink)
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This lot are feckin clueless. The government, the Police and all the other hangers on they are only concerned about making money and their own self interest.Its not a terrorist attack because they never hit their target due to their (the bombers) ineptitude

There has been bomb explosions in India and Georgia using the same types of equipment and explosives and the same magnets wich are designed to be attached to the chassis of a vehicle ie. car bombs. No connection my feckin arse!!!!!

No wonder the western governments issue warnings in Thailand concerning terrorism its the blind leading the fucking blind!!!!

The saving grace here is that they(The Thais) apprehended two of the terrorists,the first one was easy enough he couldn,t go anywhere,the second trying to get to Malaysia by aircraft, the third has been apprehended in Malaysia trying to board a flight to Tehran, and the girl is on the run(probably back in Iran now.)
And that won,t be to a heroes welcome after this feck-up.

I am so glad that the well informed Thai Gpvernment don,t classify these bombers as terrorists. They are just upset people due to the problems in world politics.
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Old 16-02-2012, 10:01 AM   #127 (permalink)
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Analysis: Was Iran behind the Bangkok bombings? - CNN.com

Analysis: Was Iran behind the Bangkok bombings?

By Paul Quaglia, Special to CNN
February 16, 2012 -- Updated 0311 GMT (1111 HKT)


Thai bomb squad officials inspect the site of an explosion in Bangkok on February 14, 2012.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Quaglia: Bangkok suspects not involved in a sophisticated, state-financed terrorist attack
  • Quaglia: Attack was amateurish operation with little advance planning for contingencies
  • Quaglia: It's possible Iran is seeking to modulate its retaliation for murder of its scientists
  • Quaglia: Iran may have leveraged "B-Team" contacts to attack Israeli diplomats
Editor's note: Paul Quaglia is a founding partner and Director of PSA Asia, a security consulting, crisis management and political risk assessment firm based in Bangkok. He is a 20-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, who served the majority of his CIA career in six overseas postings in the Middle East and Asia.

(CNN) -- Even before the smoke had cleared from a series of bombings in the Thai capital of Bangkok Tuesday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak blamed Iran for the incident, as well as the attacks against Israeli diplomats in Delhi and Georgia two days ago.

"The attempted terror attack in Thailand proves once again that Iran and its proxies continue to operate in the ways of terror and the latest attacks are an example of that," he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed.

"In recent months, we have witnessed several attempts to attack Israeli citizens and Jews in several countries, including Azerbaijan, Thailand and others. Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah, were behind all of these attempted attacks."

Was the government of Iran behind the bomb assembly operation in Bangkok?
Most likely, yes.

Was it part of a larger global effort to target Israeli diplomats in retaliation for the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists in Iran?
Yes, again.
But the three men allegedly responsible for the Bangkok bombings can hardly be considered professional, hard-core Hezbollah terrorists.

The suspects were not involved in a sophisticated, state-financed terrorist attack. The bombs were poorly made and constructed. The chaotic departure from the area and the lack of operational security in entering and moving about since they entered the country indicate a relatively amateurish operation with little advance planning for contingencies.

So, what is the Iranian connection?

It is possible that Iran is seeking to modulate its retaliation for the murder of a number of its scientists over the past two years. For all its bluster, Iranian leaders are well aware that trigger-happy Israel is itching for a showdown over the evolving Iranian nuclear weapons program.

Iran with an atomic weapon has been an Israeli "red-line" for several decades. And Iranian leaders, poised astride an economy reeling under yet another round of economic sanctions, can ill afford a destabilizing war with Israel (and the U.S.), particularly one they would likely lose quickly and decisively. Israel, Iran trade accusations

But outsourcing terrorist attacks on Israeli targets to semi-incompetent subcontractors gives Iran neither plausible deniability nor direct control to dial-down the scope of retaliation to avoid handing the Israelis a chance to respond strategically.

It is more probable that Iranian intelligence has leveraged "B-Team" contacts in several countries to plan and carry out attacks against Israeli diplomats. While some support or funds might be available, the Iranian government would strive to keep its distance from farm-league terrorists putting together bombs in portable radios.

The Bangkok suspects were carrying Iranian passports -- not false documents. Their movements were crude, embarrassingly overt and ended in a debacle of incompetence and bad luck.

Unfortunately, Thai police investigations are not likely to shed light on the Iranian connection. Senior security officials claimed the explosions were not acts of terrorism because the bombs involved could not cause "large-scale destruction." Always sensitive to tarnishing Thailand's lucrative tourism sector, Thai officials are likely to continue to downplay the implications of Tuesday's explosions and seek to move the story off the media radar.

On January 12, after a controversial U.S. Embassy terrorist alert was issued, Thai officials arrested Atris Hussein, after finding "initial chemical materials that could produce bombs" in an area just outside Bangkok. Police said Hussein, who also holds a Swedish passport, led them to the location.

The authorities are accusing Hussein of trying to attack spots in Bangkok that are popular with Western tourists and say he is believed to belong to Hezbollah, the Shiite Muslim group active in Lebanon that the U.S. views as a terrorist organization.

Thailand's second terrorism wake-up call rang out Tuesday afternoon in Bangkok. Whether Thai officials respond or simply hit the snooze button and continue to believe "it could never happen here," remains to be seen.
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Old 16-02-2012, 10:05 AM   #128 (permalink)
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Blogging 'motorsai' finds fame | Bangkok Post: news

Blogging 'motorsai' finds fame The tagline on his Twitter account reads: motorcycle taxi, express document delivery, cheque collecting, bill posting and messenger service.


Dejchat: Making the media rounds

But Dejchat Puangket is no ordinary motorcycle taxi driver. He is also a blogger, sending out regular tweets about his daily life on Bangkok's mean streets and what he encounters when plying his trade.

And now that his photo of the Sukhumvit bomb suspect _ lying in debris, with one of his legs missing and the other barely attached _ has been splashed across the media, he can add celebrity to his resume.

Mr Dejchat, who blogs under the name "Blogger Rasisalai" and tweets from @motorcyrubjang, uploaded his photos and videos of the shocking aftermath _ some so vivid and graphic that he later blurred them _ at 2.32pm on Tuesday, minutes after the blasts occurred.

It is no surprise he received tweets from journalists from both the old and new media asking for the rights to use his images. And in the true spirit of citizen journalism, Mr Dejchat, who started blogging in 2007, allowed access to all.

"I did not witness the explosions myself, but I got there in time," Mr Dejchat told the Bangkok Post.

His win, or base, on Soi Pridi Banomyong 20 is a few blocks away from the crime scene on Soi 31.

Mr Dejchat's hectic schedule yesterday went like this _ a request for an interview from Matichon Online, talking to Rawangpai Channel about being a multimedia journalist, going on air on Channel 9 with Khun Kanok (Ratwongsakul, of the Chao Khao Khon news programme), posting bills at Idea Expert and ItalThai, going to Bang Po and then appearing on Blue Sky Channel at 6pm.

Mr Dejchat, who uses an android Imobile phone to take photos and often relies on a 15-baht per hour internet cafe to update his blogs, was so overwhelmed with interview requests that tweeted in the evening: "My apologies for all the calls I could not pick up na krub. I am on air at Blue Sky krub."

While he has been in the media spotlight before yesterday _ his blog has been seen by 907,745 people and his Twitter account has 2,228 followers _ his latest crime-scene reporting lifted it to another level.

"You are amazing! Are you a spy in disguise? (Just kidding)," one admirer tweeted him. Another said: "Phi motorcycle taxi overtook everybody including professional journos. Cool! The real citizen journalist."

Despite his overnight celebrity, his head is not too big for his helmet and he took time to tweet words of thanks to all of his new admirers.
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Old 16-02-2012, 10:10 AM   #129 (permalink)
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and congratulations to the B.i.B. for there quick arrests!
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Old 16-02-2012, 10:31 AM   #130 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
It is possible that Iran is seeking to modulate its retaliation for the murder of a number of its scientists over the past two years. For all its bluster, Iranian leaders are well aware that trigger-happy Israel is itching for a showdown over the evolving Iranian nuclear weapons program.
May be it is something in the water, Paul Quaglia seems to be talking as much sense as the police general. I don't think anyone could describe sending the 'b team' and generally humiliating yourself in front of your piers as a modulation.
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Old 16-02-2012, 11:44 AM   #131 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by good2bhappy View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
An Iranian man arrested in connection with Tuesday's blasts in Bangkok has been stripped of Thai residence status, Immigration Police chief Pol Lt-General Wibool Bangthamai said yesterday.
he didn't have a leg top stand on.
I'm sure they'll restore it as soon as he's back on his feet.
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Old 16-02-2012, 11:51 AM   #132 (permalink)
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^
Depends how high the hoops are.
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Old 16-02-2012, 12:11 PM   #133 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrontiumDog View Post
UPDATE : 16 February 2012

The Bangkok governor has tightened security measures in the city following multiple bomb blasts on Monday.

Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra ordered the installation of 10,000 new security cameras in the city in addition to the current 12,000 cameras out there.
Are they going to wire them up?
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Old 16-02-2012, 01:46 PM   #134 (permalink)
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Its a great idea really. Order the camera, be seen to be doing something and get a massive kickback at the same time. Could it get any better for him?

I am under the impression that these 12k camerias are not in use at the moment, because theres there a wiff of curruption around e project and things we not done in quite the right way. So nobody prepared to sign the contract off and start using the them on the basis that doing so will put em in court for the next 10 years and noboies make it worth their while
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Old 16-02-2012, 04:15 PM   #135 (permalink)
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15.26-Pic-items seized by police from the Iranian suspects, including C4, radio transmitter etc bit.ly/xxXyhx RT @Reporter_js8


Reporter_js8 Abhisuk Vevisid
ของกลางที่ตำรวจยึดได้จากคดีระเบิดกลางกรุงเมื่อ14ก. พ. อาทิ สารระเบิดซีโฟร์ วิทยุ ชนวนฝักแค กระเดื่องระเบิดฯลฯ http://pic.twitter.com/FM63ArnW

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Old 16-02-2012, 04:27 PM   #136 (permalink)
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Three blasts a security issue but not terrorism: Yuthasak - The Nation

Three blasts a security issue but not terrorism: Yuthasak

February 16, 2012 2:04 pm

Deputy Prime Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapha on Thursday admitted the Tuesday's three explosions off Sukhumvit 71 were a security issue but there was no evidence to classify as a terror attack nor a linkage to Hezbollah.


"The government views the blasts as having impacted on the national security," he said in the question-and-answer session of the House.

The explosive devices undercovered were meant for individual targets and the blasts involving Iranian bomber suspects were individual crimes and not a terroroist attack, Yuthasak said.

The police investigation has yet to determine the motive why the suspects were assembling the devices before the explosions, he said. The authorities had no evidence to link the suspects to the terrorist movement.

Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said his ministry had explained the situation to the diplomatic corps.

The Nation
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Old 16-02-2012, 04:28 PM   #137 (permalink)
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Thai-ASEAN News Network - Hunt On for More Blast Suspects

Hunt On for More Blast Suspects

UPDATE : 16 February 2012

The police are seeking the extradition of an Iranian bomb suspect after he was arrested in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday.

Deputy police chief Police General Parnsiri Prapawat said his agency is in the process of coordinating with Malaysian authorities to extradite Masoud Sedaghat Zadeh, the third out of four Iranian suspects in the bombing in Sukhumwit Soi 71 on Tuesday.

Regarding the hunt for the female Iranian suspect Rohani Leila, Parnsiri conceded she has already fled overseas.


Parnsiri stated the search for evidence will be carried out at the suspects' rented house in Soi Pridi Banomyong 31 where the first blast went off, at the mouth of Soi Pridi Banomyong 31 in which a bomb was thrown at a taxi and the area outside Kasem Pittaya School near Soi Pridi Banomyong 35 where first Iranian suspect Saeib Morabi blew off his own legs.

He remarked the existing evidence suggest all four suspects worked together on making the explosive devices used in the incident. He said investigation into the origin of bomb materials and foreign currencies found in the rented home is ongoing. He insisted investigators will also find out if there are other parties working with the suspects.

Parnsiri today held a meeting with the investigation team made up of officers from the Metropolitan Police Bureau, the Special Branch Police, the Immigration Police, the Scientific Crime Detection Division and the bomb disposal unit to assess the progress of the case, 48 hours after the incident.

Meanwhile, National Police chief Police General Priewpan Damapong this morning took part in the interrogation of the second Iranian suspect Mohammad Hazai, who was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Tuesday evening while waiting to board a flight to Malaysia.
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Old 16-02-2012, 04:29 PM   #138 (permalink)
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Iranian will be extradited to Thailand | Bangkok Post: news

Iranian will be extradited to Thailand The Iranian bomb suspect arrested in Malaysia will be extradited to Thailand when formalities are completed, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said on Thursday.

Masoud Sedaghat Zadeh, a suspect in Tuesday's three bomb explosions in the Sukhumvit soi 71 area of Bangkok, was arrested on Wednesday by Malaysian authorities in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysian police chief Ismail Omar said the Iranian was arrested under provisions of the Immigration Act of Malaysia following information provided by Thai authorities. He had fled Thailand and was attempting to catch a plane to Iran.

Mr Surapong said Thai police were already working with Malaysian authorities for the extradition of the suspect.

The South Bangkok Criminal Court yesterday approved warrants for the arrest of four Iranians in connection with the incident.

One, Saeid Moradi, 28, was severely injured, losing both legs, and is now being treated at Chulalongkorn Hospital.

Mohummad Hazaei, 42, was detained at Suvarnabhumi airport on Tuesday night while attempting to board a plane to Malaysia.

The fourth suspect, Rohani Leila, is believed to have arranged the rental of the house in Soi Pridi Banomyong 31 off Soi Sukhumvit 71, where the first explosion occurred. She was reported to have already returned to Tehran.

Asked whether Thailand would be more strict in issuing a visas to foreigners, Mr Surapong said passport holders of many countries can get a visa on arrival in Thailand, but Iranians have to apply for a visa from the Thai embassy in Tehran.

Mr Surapong said he learned that the Iranian suspects applied for their visas through a tour company. He had ordered officials to compile a list of tour companies and to be stricter in screening visa applicants.

He also said four more countries - Italy, Norway, Israel and Taiwan - had issued a travel warning to their citizens to be careful in visiting public places in Thailand, in addition to 10 countries which had done so earlier.

Asked whether the Sukhumvit 71 incident was linked to the animosity between Israel and Iran, Mr Surapong said Thailand would not interfere in the matter but would continue to maintain good relations with both countries.
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Old 16-02-2012, 04:32 PM   #139 (permalink)
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^^Minister they were ERR assembling the devises to ERR cause terror attacks n not to mug old lady's.
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Old 16-02-2012, 04:32 PM   #140 (permalink)
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UTCC: Bombs' impact 'short term' | Bangkok Post: news

UTCC: Bombs' impact 'short term'
The bomb explosions in the Sukhumvit area on Tuesday will have only a short term impact on the tourism sector, no more than two months, according to the Economic and Business Forecasting Centre of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

Centre director Thanavath Phonvichai said on Thursday its pollsters had sought opinions from business operators, but did not provide details on how many were questioned and when.

Based on the survey, the number of foreign tourists visiting Thailand might well drop by about five to ten per cent, or 100,000 to 200,000 people, which would mean an estimated revenue loss of five to ten billion baht. This would trim gross domestic product growth by between 0.1 and 0.2 per cent, Mr Thanavath said.

He said the survey showed that the service industry would likely be directly hit by by the bomb explosions, but it it expected to recover quickly.

A total of 51.1 per cent of the respondents said the hotel business would be the hardest hit, followed by resort operators (20 per cent), and then restaurants, food shops and entertainment businesses.


Economic and Business Forecasting Centre chief Thanavath Phonvichai

Asked what sectors would suffer most from the explosions, 49.8 per cent of the surveyed business operators pointed to tourism, 15.6 per cent said foreign investment in Thailand, and 13.4 per cent said investment in the Thai stock market.

Asked what risk factors could derail the country’s economy and their own businesses, the respondents said political conflict, natural disasters and investor confidence.

The director maintained his centre's GDP growth projection for this year at between 4.5 per cent and 5.0 per cent.

On the government's flood prevention measures, Mr Thanavath said investors remained concerned but had no plans to relocate their production bases to other countries at this stage.

He said most investors were aware of the government's plan to tackle potential flooding in the country this year but only half of them believed that the government would manage the problem better than last year.

The academic said the government's plan was not clear and concrete and the information given to investors was just a big picture of the situation when in fact it should give more details to restore their confidence.

However, he said, Prime Minster Yingluck Shinawatra's visit to some of the flood-hit provinces showed the government's sincerity in tackling flood issues.

He said most investors agreed with the government's move to plant more trees and other plants to absorb rainfall, but believed that the implementation would be difficult in reality. Some also feared that this year's flood could be even worse than last year, he added.
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Old 16-02-2012, 09:27 PM   #141 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 16-02-2012, 10:48 PM   #142 (permalink)
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Thai-ASEAN News Network - Blasts Put Soi Nana Businesses on Edge

Blasts Put Soi Nana Businesses on Edge

UPDATE : 16 February 2012

Businesses at Soi Nana in Bangkok are now worrying that the bombing incident at Sukhumvit Soi 71 will affect tourism and ask officials to check the profiles of suspected foreigners travelling in and out Thailand carefully. Businesses at Soi Nana in Bangkok expressed concern that the Bangkok triple blasts will affect tourism and the image of Thailand. However, they did note that their sales have not dropped after the incident.


With its various entertainment spots, Soi Nana is a destination which attracts a lot of tourists, particularly Middle Easterners. Business owners are now concerned and are monitoring the situation to keep themselves updated all the time. All of them are joining hands to be on the lookout for suspicious individuals as well.

However, the entrepreneurs are calling for related agencies to carefully scan and check foreigners travelling in and out of the country in order to avoid such attacks again.

Meanwhile, police are keeping a close watch on the Israeli Embassy, which is located at the Ocean Tower II Building in Sukhumvit Soi 19. The building's security guards have been checking every vehicle entering the building with scans of the trunk and underneath the body to make sure no bombs are sneaked inside.
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Old 16-02-2012, 10:50 PM   #143 (permalink)
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Thai-ASEAN News Network - US Ambassador Meets Supreme Commander over Blast Case

US Ambassador Meets Supreme Commander over Blast Case

UPDATE : 16 February 2012

The US ambassador states it is still uncertain whether terrorists were responsible for the blasts in the heart of Bangkok, given the police's inquiry on the case has not yet been finalized.

United States Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney today met Supreme Commander General Thanasak Patimaprakorn to discuss the blasts on Sukhumvit Soi 71.


The ambassador said the crime is a significant event and it is still too early to jump to conclusion that the blasts were associated with terrorism as the police's investigation is still underway.

She maintained that Thai-US relations remain strong and said she believed Thai authorities are capable enough to identify the motive behind the blasts.

US Embassy Spokesman Walter Braunohler said his embassy's present warning is not a ban on its citizens from traveling to Thailand, but a caution on them to increase their awareness while visiting tourist populated areas.

He insisted Thailand is still an attractive investment and tourist destination.

The spokesman said he is unable to conclude at this point that the blasts were associated with terrorism and asked countries linked to the crime to cooperate with the Thai government's investigation.
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Old 16-02-2012, 11:09 PM   #144 (permalink)
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Iran shadow war intensifies, crosses borders | Reuters

Iran "shadow war" intensifies, crosses borders


By Andrew R.C. Marshall and Peter Apps
BANGKOK/LONDON | Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:00pm EST

(Reuters) - The loudest noise that Thongma Danoi had ever heard was followed 20 minutes later by the strangest sight: a dazed and bloodied Iranian carrying two wire-adorned devices through the usually sleepy Bangkok neighborhood.

"He was losing a lot of blood," said Thongma, 68, who saw the Iranian man, later identified as Saeid Moradi, fleeing a rented house blown apart by a massive explosion on Tuesday. "People were shouting, 'He's got a bomb!' I tried not to look at him."

Minutes later, he heard another explosion, as 28-year-old Moradi reportedly threw a second bomb at a taxi that wouldn't pick him up. His rampage ended nearby, outside a school, with a third explosion that ripped off one of the bomber's legs and damaged the other so badly it had to be amputated.

Israel said the Bangkok blasts were evidence of an "attempted terrorist attack" and blamed Iran. Tehran denied involvement.

As bombings go, this week's trio of apparent attempted attacks on Israeli targets -- which also included an attack on a car carrying the wife of an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi and a bomb found attached to an Israeli diplomatic vehicle in the Georgian capital Tbilisi -- seemed unusually inept.

But security experts believe they sent a clear message, the first serious retaliation for a quietly waged but increasingly bloody campaign of sabotage waged against Iran's nuclear program.

At least four Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in recent years in attacks believed to have been carried out by or for Israel's intelligence services. While Israel invariably refuses to comment, some security analysts also suspect it has been involved in a string of major explosions at military and nuclear facilities in Iran, such as one in November that killed more than a dozen, including a senior Iranian general.

Tehran denied any involvement in this week's attacks, accusing Israel of staging them itself. But there are widespread suspicions that the real intent may have been to warn the Jewish state that Iran is prepared to retaliate in kind.

"I see in what happened a message to the effect of: 'Anything you can do, I can do too,'" said Gad Shimron, a former Mossad field officer who writes on intelligence matters. "In other words, if Israel uses terror for its security needs, it can expect reprisals from the other side."

In an environment of growing tension, paranoia and fear, there is a risk of escalation fuelled by worries over Iran's nuclear program, a potential Israeli strike on Iran and a devastating wider conflict in the Gulf.

"There is more and more pressure on all sides," says Anthony Cordesman, a former senior U.S. intelligence and defense official and now chair of strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Washington D.C.-based think tank. "All of them are interacting now in ways that make it harder and harder to anticipate the actions of each other."

MIRROR IMAGE ATTACK

While some Western officials say it is too soon to blame Tehran for this week's attacks, security analysts point to growing circumstantial evidence. Thai authorities said similar magnetic bombs were used in New Delhi, Tbilisi and Bangkok.

While they did not blame Iran directly, they said the two other men arrested in relation to the Bangkok blasts -- one in the Thai capital and the other in Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia as he bought a ticket to Tehran after fleeing Thailand -- were also Iranian.

The attack in Delhi -- in which a motorcycle attacker attached a magnetic or "sticky" bomb about the size of an iPad to an Israeli diplomatic vehicle -- appeared to be a virtual mirror image of the lethal January 11 attack on Iranian scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan in Tehran traffic.

Indian police say they have yet to track down the young man in a leather jacket riding a red motorcycle who eyewitnesses said attached the device before racing away. But they said they were investigating phone calls made to foreign numbers from the immediate area just after the attack, particularly four calls made to Iran, Lebanon and Pakistan.

Tal Yehoshua-Koren, the wife of Israel's defense attache to Delhi was injured in the attack. If the bomber had attached the device to the side of the car with the petrol tank, its occupants would have been less likely to survive, police said.

Iran has long used proxy groups such as Lebanon's Hezbollah and Hamas in the Palestinian territories to attack its enemies overseas, and intelligence experts believe they may have done so again in this case. Tehran's relationship with Hamas has frayed in recent years, but Iran remains close to Hezbollah.

Other analysts believe the culprits may be members of Tehran's hardline Revolutionary Guard, perhaps from the Quds Force, believed responsible for "extraterritorial operations".

Conspiracy theories are rife . Some even point to the possibility that Israel itself might have orchestrated the attacks to damage Iran's relationship with key Asian powers particularly India, a current main purchaser of Iran's oil.

"The situation is getting worse and worse and it of course provides a good excuse for anyone who wishes to engage in real hostilities," said Farhang Jahanpour of Oxford University's Faculty of Oriental Studies.

SHADOWY PROXY GROUPS

For most analysts, however, these attacks plus an alleged plot last year to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States -- which U.S. authorities say they thwarted -- suggest Iran is now taking new risks or has signaled its proxies may do so.

"We are now seeing evidence of Iranian willingness to go after foreign targets in a way that has not been that much in evidence before," says Nigel Inkster, a former deputy chief of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), now at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies.

"Whether we're talking about the Iranians themselves or proxies such as Hezbollah, it is very difficult to know. It's also not clear whether they are acting on direction from the top or have simply been given the impression they (now) have greater flexibility."

The relative ineptitude of the attacks suggests Tehran wanted to send a message rather than inflict heavy casualties.

"The Iranians aren't interested in a truck-bomb-level attack on an Israeli embassy because that could provoke a conflict," said Paul Quaglia, director of security consultancy PSA Asia and a 20-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency.

"But they're upset about having ... nuclear scientists hit. Farming out these low-level bomb attacks against diplomats is the next best thing."

Israel too is also suspected of using a range of shadowy local resistance groups in Iran. Some of their members may not be aware of who they are ultimately working for, a technique known as "false flagging".

Several reports suggest Israeli agents may have impersonated their US counterparts in recruiting or directing members of the People's Mujahideen of Iran -- often known by its initials MEK -- or Jundallah, a group sometimes linked to al Qaeda that is based largely in the province of Baluchistan.

"There is some evidence that this has been happening," said former MI6 deputy chief Inkster. "It may be one of the things that has soured the relationship between Israel and the US. The "false flag" issue always makes things more complicated."

LESSONS OF HISTORY

The United States denies any involvement in the lethal attacks within Iran -- even issuing a rare condemnation of the January car bomb killing.

One Gulf security source told Reuters he believed U.S. agencies were directly involved in some attacks, working alongside MEK. U.S. officials have denied such suggestions, saying they would never work with the resistance groups partly because they were suspected to have been infiltrated by Iranian intelligence.

Former and serving U.S. and other Western officials say the CIA does not have the authorization -- or "finding" -- from the White House to conduct lethal attacks within Iran, although few doubt they are involved in a wide range of other intelligence operations.

While the emerging "shadow war" might escalate in the months to come, not everyone believes it heightens the risk of a wider conflict that the United States, Iran and Israel are keen to avoid.

But the lesson of history -- particularly 1914, when the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in a Sarajevo sidestreet sparked a world war -- is that mistakes can happen.

"Everyone here is used to playing the long game," says former U.S. official Cordesman, saying he believed outright war was still likely to be avoided. "But you can still have someone on a street corner in the middle of nowhere... who sparks something that changes the course of history."
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Old 17-02-2012, 08:50 AM   #145 (permalink)
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Govt 'whitewashing' bombing | Bangkok Post: news

Govt 'whitewashing' bombing

Democrats say reaction can bruise Thai image
The government has come under criticism for trying to downplay the Bangkok bombing that injured one Iranian suspect and four bystanders.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva urged the government to come to terms with the fact that the bombs on Sukhumvit Soi 71 and two nearby locations had attracted global attention due to extensive media coverage.

Other countries were watching to see what measures would be implemented to prevent future incidents and ensure public safety but the government was apparently preoccupied with a damage control campaign, Mr Abhisit said.

"Security agencies were sending a message that it was not a terrorist attack because the targets were individuals. But we have to accept the fact that they had bombs and there were attempts to assemble bombs, regardless of what their targets were," he said.

Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul had sent the wrong signal to the world when he said the bombers intended to assemble bombs in Thailand for operations in other countries.

This statement could ease fears at home but create confusion in other countries as it could be interpreted that Thailand was not serious about the problem, he added.

"The bottom line is safety for all Thais and foreigners here, and [we must make] an effort not to let the incident jeopardise relations with other countries," Mr Abhisit said.

Panitan Wattanayagorn, a security analyst at Chulalongkorn University, said the government could not deny the suspects planned a terrorist attack.

"No matter what the government says, the picture of a taxi damaged by a bomb sent out to the world by the media and social media speaks for itself that it was an act by terrorists," he said.

Mr Panitan said the government was compelled to tone down the blasts, as admitting it was a terrorist act could scare foreigners away.

"Previous governments also downplayed issues like this. If they admitted a terrorist attack, it will have consequences for Thailand," he said.

Thailand banks on tourism for foreign exchange income, with about 12 million visitors coming to the country last year. The tourism sector accounts for about 6% of gross domestic product.

Mr Panitan called on the government to use this opportunity to revamp its intelligence operations.

The suspects were able to enter Thailand to prepare for their operations without the knowledge of authorities.

"The government must face the truth that we have lax security measures, even though we are a tourist destination," he said.

He also urged the Foreign Ministry to convince the Iranian government to come out to condemn the bombings and show it was not involved.

The four people who lived in the house where the first blast took place, including a woman, carry Iranian passports.

Deputy Prime Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa told parliament the bombings should not be considered a terrorist plot.

"Evidence shows the targets were individuals, so a terrorist act has been ruled out as of now.

"But all agencies involved are working together to come up with a conclusion to the case," said Gen Yutthasak, who is in charge of security.

He said authorities remained vigilant, as shown by the arrest of suspect Masoud Sedaghat Zadeh at Suvarnabhumi airport hours after the blasts, and prompt cooperation with Malaysia that led to the arrest of another suspect.
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Old 17-02-2012, 08:56 AM   #146 (permalink)
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Tuesday blast 'not linked to terrorism, Hezbollah' - The Nation

Tuesday blast 'not linked to terrorism, Hezbollah'

Photo : Sukul Kerdnaimongkol February 17, 2012 1:00 am


The government does not consider the blasts in Bangkok on Tuesday an act of terrorism and that the botched bombing attempt has nothing to do with the militant group Hezbollah, government figures said yesterday.

Deputy Prime Minister General Yuthasak Sasiprapha, who is in charge of security affairs, told the House of Representatives yesterday that the explosions had been caused by bombs that were intended to kill individuals, not a large group of people.

He said the men involved in the explosions were not from Lebanon, where Hezbollah is based. However, he said, he was still waiting for verification as to whether the men were indeed Iranian nationals.

"The components of the bombs are not of the same type as the ones made by Hezbollah," said Yuthasak, who was previously defence minister.

Foreign Minister Surapong Towichukchaikul also said yesterday that the men behind the blasts had no links to Hezbollah as "they are not of the same nationality". He also dismissed any connection between the blasts in Bangkok and the attacks earlier this week in India and Georgia, which were allegedly meant to target Israeli diplomats. However, magnets were found in the bombs used in Bangkok, which were similar to the ones used in the other two countries.

Yuthasak and Surapong were responding to a query posed by opposition Democrat MP Thana Chirawinit. They were speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Hezbollah, which literally means "Party of God", is a Shi'ite Muslim militant group and political party based in Lebanon. It is believed to receive financial and political support from Iran and Syria.

Yuthasak said yesterday that Tuesday's blasts affected Thailand's security, adding that state agencies had been ordered to beef up security following the incident.

"With the increased conflict between Middle Eastern and Western countries, Thai security agencies will have to intensify their work," he said.

The foreign minister added that other countries had confidence in the Thai security agencies, as he expressed concern about the negative news targeting the government as well as the rumours swirling after the incident.
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Old 17-02-2012, 08:58 AM   #147 (permalink)
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Bomb expert trained suspects - The Nation

Bomb expert trained suspects

The Nation February 17, 2012 1:00 am


One of the four Middle East men captured by security cameras during the blasts in Bangkok on Valentine's Day was suspected to be a bomb expert who passed on his bombmaking skills to the other three, police said yesterday.

Police also had the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court approve arrest warrants for the three Iranian men at the scene and an Iranian woman, Leila Rohani, 32, who reportedly has fled to Tehran, out of Thai police's reach.

The wounded suspect, Saeid Moradi, 28, faces charges of making explosives, possessing explosives without a permit, causing explosions that endangered others and attempting to murder onduty police and other persons. The three other suspects are wanted for the first three charges.

The police investigation team held their first meeting. Metropolitan Police chief Winai Thongsong said Special Branch police contacted Malaysia to seek the extradition of suspect Seda Ghatzadeh Masoud, 31, who flew to Kuala Lumpur, while Mohammad Hazaei, 42, arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport, would initially face the charge of launching bomb attacks.

In trying to determine if the explosions were related to the bomb attacks in India and Georgia, police have asked parties for more information.

Initially, the Bangkok bomb materials appear similar to what was used in the attacks on Israeli interests in other countries, in that magnets would affix the bomb to a car target, he added.

According to a source at the national security agency, prior to the first explosion at the suspects' rented house near Sukhumvit Soi 71, witnesses said they saw an Iranian man in his 50s and 150160cm tall going out of the house with a large luggage case at about 7am.

Security footage showed that in the week before the blasts, this man went in and out of the house on a daily basis, the source said. He was also seen in the Thong Lor and Khlong Tan areas after the blasts and when Hazaei was arrested at Suvarnabhumi.

The man was suspected of being a bomber or taking explosive materials to teach the three Iranians to make bombs, the source said, adding that Israeli officials also gave information to Thai police in this case.

Pol Lt General Wiboon Bangtamai, commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, said Rohani was now in Tehran, Iran's capital.

"We can't ask Iran to send her back to Thailand as we have no extradition treaty with that country," he said.

Rohani was suspected of being the one who rented the house where the three Iranian men stayed and where the first device exploded, apparently by accident.

Rohani's absence would not affect the case, as she had only rented the house. Thai police have enough evidence such as footage from security cameras and bomb materials found in the house, he added.

However, police searched her room at the house and turned up some more evidence, but offered no details.

Deputy police chief Pansiri Prapawat said that, besides the four wanted Iranians, police were also gathering information for an arrest warrant for a Middle East man who might be involved and checking if he was still in Thailand.

Police would continue to comb the damaged house and search two or three other places that the four Iranians had been seen frequenting. The house had so far not shown any signs of any terrorist group. Suppliers should alert police if foreigners buy a suspicious amount of material that could be used in bomb making, he added.

Wanchai Rujanawong, directorgeneral of the Office of the Attorney General's Foreign Affairs Bureau, said the extradition of Masoud from Malaysia would take some time. The agency was waiting for the submission of case documents from police, which would need to be translated, and would then proceed according to the ThaiBritish extradition treaty. Britain used to rule Malaysia. If that couldn't apply, Thai authorities would try diplomatic leverage of reciprocal trade with Malaysia.

Dr Prasert Triwijitsilpa, deputy director of Chulalongkorn Hospital, said Moradi, who lost both his legs in one blast, was in stable condition and remained unconscious and on respiratory assistance. Doctors would keep him under surveillance for 72 hours for infection.

Kluaynamthai Hospital released one of the blast victims, 82yearold Kangwal Horprasatthong.
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Old 17-02-2012, 09:03 AM   #148 (permalink)
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I can't fucking believe the US Ambassadress is saying she is uncertain if the blasts were related to terrorism! She was an idiot when she was here in the Philippines, and has obviously gotten even worse. And she was replaced here by an even bigger fool.
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Old 17-02-2012, 09:09 AM   #149 (permalink)
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Airports brace for attacks | Bangkok Post: news

Airports brace for attacks

Israel warns Thailand could be terror target Security is being beefed up at the country's six international airports which could become possible new targets for acts of sabotage following a terror warning by Israel, national police chief Priewpan Damapong says.


Police take Mohammad Khazaei, an Iranian suspect in Tuesday’s bombings, to the Immigration Police Bureau for questioning yesterday. APICHART JINAKUL


Pol Gen Priewpan yesterday told the Transport Ministry to place the international airports, under the Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT), on high alert as Israel has warned terrorists may be targetting them.

A government source said Israel had advised police directly to boost security at airports, based on intelligence reports it had received.

AoT chairman ACM Sumet Phomanee raised the security alert at the six airports from level 2, the normal level, to level 3. The airports are Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai and Phuket.

Pol Gen Priewpan denied reports terrorists were targetting the Israeli defence minister who was scheduled to change planes in Thailand on Wednesday but later cancelled the plan following the bombings on Tuesday.

The warning also prompted the government to beef up security for other modes of public transport.

Ronnachit Yaemsa-ard, acting governor of the Mass Rapid Authority of Thailand, said he had instructed Bangkok Metro Co, the operator of the MRT, to step up security at subway stations.

Anat Arbhabhirama, an adviser to the executive committee of Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc, which runs the BTS skytrain, gave an assurance that security at the BTS is always high.

State Railway of Thailand governor Yutthana Thapcharoen said security has been boosted at all railway stations, particularly in the lower South.

Pol Col Monthon Ngernwattana, acting chief of the Royal Thai Police's foreign affairs division, said the Attorney-General will seek the extradition to Thailand of Masoud Sedaghat Zadeh, an Iranian suspect who was arrested by Malaysian authorities in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday after fleeing Bangkok.

Mr Zadeh had entered Malaysia on Tuesday and had been attempting to fly to Iran when he was detained, the Malaysian government said.

The arrest on Wednesday of Mr Zadeh at Kuala Lumpur's international airport showed Malaysia was "very serious and committed" to addressing the threat of terrorism, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.

Pol Col Monthon said the division had submitted evidence and an arrest warrant for the suspect to the Office of the Attorney-General, which it will forward to the Foreign Ministry.

The ministry will contact Malaysia's foreign ministry to extradite the suspect.

Pol Col Monthon said even though Thailand and Malaysia do not have a formal extradition treaty, Thailand will use an extradition treaty it signed with Britain, Malaysia's former colonial ruler.

Deputy national police chief Pansiri Prapawat said the Bangkok South Criminal Court had approved arrest warrants for all three Iranian suspects being held in custody, as well as an Iranian woman, Rohani Leila, who is suspected of having arranged for the rental of the Sukhumvit Soi 71 home.

Two suspects with Iranian passports were detained after the explosions on Sukhumvit Soi 71 on Tuesday.

Saeid Moradi, 28, was injured in the bombings and is being treated at Chulalongkorn Hospital. Mohummad Khazaei, 42, was detained at Suvarnabhumi airport late on Tuesday as he was about to board a plane to Malaysia. Mr Zadeh was arrested in Malaysia.

Pol Gen Pansiri said Mr Moradi has been charged with attempted murder and having explosives in his possession and the other three suspects have been charged with being in possession of explosives. A fifth suspect had also been identified. A warrant would be sought for the suspect, a Middle Eastern man.

Bomb disposal experts yesterday searched a hotel room at Nasa Vegas Hotel on Ramkhamhaeng Road, where Ms Leila checked in. They found no explosives.
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Old 17-02-2012, 09:11 AM   #150 (permalink)
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Suspects partied in Pattaya | Bangkok Post: news

Suspects partied in Pattaya PATTAYA : Officials at the Immigration Department's Chon Buri office yesterday identified a Thai woman in Pattaya who had escorted the Iranian bomb suspects during their stay in the resort town.


Two Thai women have fun with the three Iranian bomb suspects at a restaurant in Pattaya. Masoud Sedaghat Zadeh, left, was arrested in Malaysia, Mohammad Khazaei, centre, was detained at Suvarnabhumi Airport, and Saied Moradi was badly injured in the bombings. PORNPROM SARTTRABHAYA

Her account, and photographs taken with her mobile phone, could help authorities confirm whether the suspects know one another.

The woman, in her twenties, and identified only as Nan, told the immigration officers that she had escorted Mohammad Khazaei, who was detained at Suvarnabhumi airport late on Tuesday after a series of explosions on Sukhumvit Soi 71.

Mr Khazaei met Ms Nan near the Balihai area in Pattaya. She said the Iranian asked her to escort him during his stay there because he was not good at speaking English.

Ms Nan later asked two friends to escort Mr Khazaei's two companions.

They were later identified from a group photo on Ms Nan's mobile phone as Saeid Moradi and Masoud Sedaghat Zadeh, the third bomb suspect who was arrested in Malaysia yesterday.

During their stay in Pattaya, from Feb 8 to 13 according to their hotel's registration, Ms Nan and her friends hung out with the three men. In one group gathering, shown in a photo, they were winding down in a bar in a hotel. Ms Nan said they had drinks and played snooker together.

Ms Nan was with Mr Khazaei in his room as well but didn't detect any irregularities except one time when he barred her from approaching a closet in the room. On the last day, Monday, Mr Khazaei told her that he would go home. So she phoned a taxi to pick him up.

"What we got from Ms Nan is circumstantial evidence that helps confirm to us that they were here together in Pattaya," Pol Lt Gol Thawatchai Nongbua, inspector of Chon Buri Immigration Office, said.

National police chief Priewpan Damapong said police took Ms Nan to the immigration bureau in Bangkok to make Mr Khazaei feel more at ease.

Earlier, the suspect had showed signs of stress and refused to eat. After he met Ms Nan, he appeared more relaxed and agreed to eat some food, Pol Gen Priewpan said.
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