April 19, 2014 00:00 By Khwanhathai Malakan,
Information from three foreign suspects held in connection with an Israeli tip-off has led to the discovery of hazardous items, National Police Commissioner General Adul Saengsingkaew said yesterday.
“But at this point, it remains inconclusive as to whether these items were to be used in staging attacks in Thailand,” Adul said. “We are investigating the case.”
He did not reveal what the hazardous items were.
The three suspects, identified as Yosef Ayad, Daoud Rafarhat and Bilal Bahsoun, are in police custody.
“At this point, we still have not found any link to anyone else,” Adul said.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a member of the investigation team said the three foreigners had given confusing statements and relevant authorities were still in the process of establishing their country of origin.
“We expect to contact relevant embassies to push for their deportation next week,” the source said.
According to this source, there is no evidence that can link the three suspects to Lebanese national Atris Hussein, who was sentenced to two years and four months in jail for stocking bomb-making materials.
It is widely speculated that Hussein and the three suspects now in police custody may have been members of Hezbollah.
Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) spokesman Colonel Banphot Phunphian yesterday said no available evidence confirmed that the foreign suspects in police custody were members of Hezbollah.
“And even if they are, Hezbollah is described as an international terrorist organisation by the United States and Israel only,” he said. He noted that Lebanon recognised Hezbollah as a political party.
Banphot also believed Thailand would not be a direct target of terrorists given that the Kingdom has never had any ideological conflict with anyone.
Still, he did not rule out the possibility of a terror attack happening in this country.
“It’s possible, because so many countries have established embassies or consulates here. Some countries are in conflict with other groups,” Banphot said.