Security gets beefed up in Chiang Mai after terror attack threat
Security has been strengthened in Chiang Mai following warnings of a planned terrorist attack against the US Consulate, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday."The United States has not requested extra measures but Thailand will take every precaution," she said.
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung said he instructed Provincial Police Region 5 commissioner Lt-General Suthep Detraksa to ensure security and monitor for any suspicious activity since last Wednesday.
In Bangkok, US Embassy spokesman Walter Braunohler said the consulate remained open for business but said precautions will be taken to protect US facilities.
"We continue to take every precaution to protect our facility - whether it’s in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or worldwide - our employees and our visitors," Braunohler told Associated Press.
Chalerm said the tip-off about the planned attack came from domestic sources and not foreign intelligence.
"At issue is not the reliability of the report but the vigilance to foil violence." He refused to comment or speculate on the linkage about the warning and the Cobra Gold military exercise.
He said he believed the planned attack may have been aborted and that the terrorists had left the country because their plan was exposed.
Chiang Mai governor Thanin Supasaen said authorities were checking guesthouses where suspected terrorists might stay. "I have met with security authorities every day but found no suspicious activities at this juncture," the governor said.
Chiang Mai Police commander Maj-General Kasemsant Boonyakan said he had circulated the names of 15 suspected terrorists to all hotels and guesthouses.
At the consulate, the provincial police have set up a command post to provide round-the-clock security.