Bangkok Asked to Step Up Security After Nabbing Suspected Terrorists

 | Mon 21 Apr 2014 09:10 ICT

CityNews – The Israeli Embassy in Bangkok has issued a letter to the Metropolitan Police Bureau asking them to beef up their security measures against terrorist attacks, particularly against Israeli travellers and tourists in popular areas such as the Rambutri and Khao San Roads. This comes after the Thai police nabbed two suspected members of Hezbollah, a Shi’a Islamic militant group and political party that is listed by many Western countries as a terrorist organization.

Popular Khao San Road.

Lebanese-French citizen Daoud Farhat and Lebanese-Philippine citizen Youssef Ayad were arrested on Sukhimvut Soi 4 (also notoriously known as Soi Nana) before the start of Songkran, while more suspects still remain at large. The two captured suspects were on the Thai immigration watchlist for having potential links to Hezbollah and were detained by police acting on a tip-off from Israeli intelligence. They later confessed to planning attacks against Israeli tourists in six different locations during the Jewish festival Passover, which coincided with the Thai festival of Songkran.

The Thai police are now being urged to step up their security efforts and deploy more plain-clothed police officers around the city, which is commonly frequented by Israeli visitors, especially young people vacationing in the Kingdom after completing their military services. The Israeli Embassy pointed out that police should focus on protecting tourists in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon district, as many Israeli tourists stay in this area, where they buy tour packages around Bangkok, visit Jewish synagogues, eat at Israeli restaurants and stay at guesthouses with large groups of other Israelis.

The Thai police have responded by promising to increase safety measures for Israel’s people travelling in the capital, and that they would continue to monitor suspicious behaviour and be on the lookout for possible terrorists.