POLICE have stepped up security at crowded locations following a reported warning by the US embassy of possible attacks by the Islamic State militant group, a deputy national police chief said yesterday.
General Sriwara Ransibhramanakul said that he had ordered police units to increase security measures against possible terror incidents or sabotage.
“All the state agencies have been warned to help protect the important locations, as well as tourist destinations, shopping malls, transportation hubs and airports,” he said.
However, Sriwara said that the authorities had found no evidence that IS was operating in Thailand. “And there has been no indication of violence anytime soon,” he added.
But due to the terrorist violence taking place in many countries, the authorities were not taking any risks, Sriwara said.
“Thailand will have to be fully alert about this and we will not take any risks. The authorities will have to be serious about this,” he said.
He said police detectives had been dispatched to monitor the movements of suspects, both Thais and foreigners. Checkpoints would be set up at major locations and crowded areas to screen people and vehicles, he said.
According to a police source, police were alerted by a special assistant at the US embassy who warned them of possible terrorist attacks targeting Bangkok’s mass-transit systems and shopping malls as part of IS’s expansion into Southeast Asia.
However, the government’s deputy spokesman Maj-General Werachon Sukondhapatipak said that the US embassy denied having made the warning.