Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket update: US embassy maintains terror threat warning

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: The US Embassy in Bangkok sees American citizens in Thailand as still facing the threat of terrorism and will thus keep a controversial warning on its website, despite the Thai government’s insistence that Thailand is not a target for international terrorists, a senior embassy official said yesterday.

“Nothing changes” when it comes to the perceived threats and America’s need to keep its citizens informed, the high-ranking embassy source told The Nation.

However, the source would not say how long this warning – which seems to be upsetting the Yingluck government – would remain on the embassy website.

Government leaders have been calling on the embassy to remove the warning, especially now that a foreign suspect has been arrested and a large cache of bomb-making materials seized.

Last week, US Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney tweeted that the warning was “real” and “Bangkok specific”. Despite that, the source yesterday suggested that the information gathered so far was not enough to pinpoint exact targets or locations.

The source would not confirm if the warning was meant to push the government into being more proactive. The embassy posted the warning after some kind of notification was submitted to the Foreign Ministry a day earlier.

The police, meanwhile, are still keeping a close watch on three spots in Bangkok: Rambutri, Sukhumvit Soi 22 and Khaosarn Road, which are popular with backpacking tourists.

“We will continue to prevent and suppress [terror attacks],” Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lt-General Winai Thongsong said yesterday.

Atris Hussein, 47, was arrested last week at Suvarnabhumi Airport. He now faces charges of illegally possessing ammonia nitrate, a precursor chemical used for bomb-making.

Police believe that Hussein may have had several accomplices and the investigation is ongoing.

Six months ago, three Arab-looking men were allegedly seen going in and out of the Samut Sakhon shophouse rented by Hussein and used to keep ammonia nitrate and urea fertilizer, according to police. These men, however, are believed to have already left Thailand.

“Some Thais might have worked for Hussein, but we believe they might have not known exactly what he was up to,” Lt Gen Winai said.

In the USEmbassyBKK Twitter account, Amb Kenney was quoted as saying that the January 13 emergency message for US citizens remained in effect.

On January 13, the US embassy’s web site alerted US citizens in Thailand that foreign terrorists might be currently looking to conduct attacks against tourist areas in Bangkok in the near future.

US citizens were urged to exercise caution when visiting public areas where large groups of Western tourists gather in Bangkok.

Deputy National Police Commissioner General Pansiri Prapawat said yesterday that police planned to question everybody who might have been in contact with Hussein.

“Our teams are investigating the case, questioning witnesses, examining and gathering evidence,” he said.

Meanwhile, an informed source said that at a meeting held to follow up on the case yesterday, police officers also discussed a widely circulated suggestion that police might have placed ammonia nitrate in the shophouse.

“The reports are based on information that a police senior sergeant major had rented the same shophouse,” the source said. “But local police said a policeman had rented another shophouse nearby to sell rice and had only used the place for two months.”

According to the source, Hussein had rented a shophouse in Samut Sakhon for up to two years at a monthly rate of 15,000 baht and was planning to buy it for 6 million baht.

After the meeting, Gen Pansiri, who is the chief investigator, said police had acquired more information on the case, but could not reveal it at this point.

Lt-Gen Winai also revealed that police are working closely with local and international intelligence agencies.

Supreme Commander Gen Thanasak Patimaprakorn, meanwhile, voiced confidence that the situation relating to the terrorism threat in Thailand was under control.

— The Nation

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

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:

World1 hour ago

Thailand News Today | Vaccine deaths investigation, PM heads to Phuket, BMA extends vendor licences | June 18

Thailand2 hours ago

1 million AstraZeneca doses arrive, Anutin says “more” on the way

Drugs2 hours ago

1.2 tonnes of methamphetamine and heroin seized near Malaysian border

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Pattaya bars plead for government help

Thailand3 hours ago

Colour-coded zoning revised, restrictions to ease nationwide

Transport3 hours ago

Department of Land Transport will reopen, issue licenses

Best of3 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Chiang Mai

Tourism4 hours ago

Krabi schedules 82 flights per week from late October

Best of4 hours ago

Top 6 Online Forums in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 3,058 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand4 hours ago

Worker falls off roof in Chon Buri, sustains multiple injuries

Phuket5 hours ago

Talad Kaset market in Phuket reopens

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

PM Prayut tests negative after parliament maid has Covid-19

World5 hours ago

Myanmar: American journalist’s detention extended 2 more weeks

Pollution6 hours ago

Beached sperm whale covered in oil rescued in Phuket

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending