Connect with us


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 September 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 November 27, the Special Branch police said intelligence from Russia warned that 10 Syrians ‘related to’ IS entered Thailand between October 15 and October 31. The document was circulating on social media on Thursday.

“The document is real. We received it from Special Branch,” said a police officer 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.”


The Immigration Bureau had found no irregularities among the 21 Syrians who remain in Thailand of the 231 that entered in October, bureau commissioner Nathathorn Prausoontorn told Reuters on today.

“There is no information linking them to Islamic State,” he said.

The National Security Council asked the bureau two weeks ago to check on Syrians that had entered since October 1, he said.

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates there are 700 to 1,000 foreign Islamist fighters in the region.

“There is a definite connection between Southeast Asia and Syria,” UNODC regional representative Jeremy Douglas said on Friday, adding Thailand would need to work with its neighbors to deal with the threat.

“It’s very plausible that foreign fighters could transit through Bangkok to and from the Middle East,” he said.

The warning comes three months after a Bangkok bomb attack killed 20 people. Authorities said the blast was in retaliation for a crackdown on human smuggling gangs and declined to label it a militant attack.

A busy tourist destination and hub for businesses and international agencies, Thailand is a ‘target-rich environment’, said Anthony Davis, a Bangkok-based security analyst with IHS-Jane’s.

Corruption and the presence of transnational criminal groups had helped create ‘a dangerously permissive environment,’ he said.

“Post-Sinai, Russian intelligence is going to be asking ‘Where globally are our vulnerabilities?’ Thailand is going to be right at the top of their list,” said Mr Davis.

Thailand’s three southernmost provinces bordering Malaysia are home to a large Muslim community, elements of which have waged an insurgency against the Buddhist-dominated Thai state for more than a decade.

— Reuters


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Video5 hours ago

Siam Paragon Bangkok International Fashion Week 2022

Thailand7 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Flash flooding to hit every region of Thailand

Thailand7 hours ago

Off-duty officer fires shots & fights with Bangkok cabbie

Sponsored15 hours ago

Starting a business and obtaining SMART Visa in Thailand is easy with Startup Booster

Thailand7 hours ago

Venomous snake emerges from parcel at sorting office in Thailand

Technology8 hours ago

Line Man Wongnai now Thailand’s largest tech startup

Thailand8 hours ago

Customer buys brand new Honda PCX motorbike with coins in eastern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Drugs9 hours ago

Drug chase ends in flipped car, 6 million spilled Yaba pills

Thailand9 hours ago

169 Thai police officers dismissed for serious violations

World9 hours ago

Edward Snowden received Russian citizenship

Thailand10 hours ago

American told to stop riding go-kart in Chiang Mai

Thailand10 hours ago

Thailand legalises abortion up to 20 weeks

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Nasal spray to prevent Covid hits stores October 1

Crime11 hours ago

China backs Philippines online gambling crackdown

Crime11 hours ago

Foreign gang allegedly extorts Russian couple of crypto worth US$50k in Thailand

Events13 hours ago

Meatfest will host meat cooking and eating contests in Pattaya

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11