Tags: Hezbollah | Israel | Bangkok

Investigators: Hezbollah Bomb Plot Targeted Israelis in Bangkok

By    |   Friday, 18 Apr 2014 10:57 AM

Police say they have arrested two suspected Hezbollah operatives in Thailand in connection with a terrorist plot there and one has admitted to a planned attack on Israeli tourists during Songkran, the Thai New Year festival, which coincided with the start of Passover this week.

That suspect, identified as Youssef Ayad – a Shiite Muslim of “Lebanese-Filipino” origin – was arrested earlier this month during his 17th visit to Thailand, the Bangkok Post reported. Authorities said Ayad arrived in Thailand a few days before Songkran began on April 13.

Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed, Lebanon-based terrorist group that is opposed to Israel’s existence. 

Ayad admitted to planning a bomb attack on tourists and other Israeli groups in Bangkok during Songkran, police said.

The other suspect is Daoud Farhat, reportedly a French-Lebanese national visiting Thailand for the first time.

Both men arrived there a few days before the New Year’s celebration began on Sunday. 

Thailand’s  assistant national police chief, Winai Thongsong, said the suspects were arrested at different  locations in Bangkok, after Thai police received intelligence from Israel about a planned attack on Israeli tourists during Passover.

If police had failed to capture the suspects, “a bomb attack would surely have taken place on Khao San Road,” a local tourist destination popular among Israelis, a source told the Bangkok newspaper.

Investigators are attempting to track down at least nine other suspected foreign terrorists connected to Hezbollah who are believed to have already entered Thailand.

"Now we can seize materials, such as nails and bolts, used in making bombs from their homes in Bangkok,” the source said.

Authorities also plan to bring Ayad to a remote location he identified as a hideout in Rayong province, more than 100 miles southeast of Bangkok, to search for weapons.

Thai officials have uncovered multiple Iranian-backed terrorist plots targeting Israelis in recent years. In August, a Bangkok court sentenced two Iranian men to long prison terms for scheming to kill Israeli diplomats in a bomb plot. Police arrested the Iranians before they attacked their targets.

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Police say they have arrested two suspected Hezbollah operatives in Thailand in connection with a terrorist plot there and one has admitted to a planned attack on Israeli tourists during Songkran, the Thai New Year festival, which coincided with the start of Passover this week.
Hezbollah, Israel, Bangkok
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2014-57-18
Friday, 18 Apr 2014 10:57 AM
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