US Embassy Warns of Terror Threat in Bangkok
The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok is warning American citizens and other tourists visiting the city to be aware that foreign terrorists may be planning attacks there.
An alert posted to the Embassy’s Website warns:
“This message alerts U.S. citizens in Thailand that foreign terrorists may be currently looking to conduct attacks against tourist areas in Bangkok in the near future. U.S. citizens are urged to exercise caution when visiting public areas where large groups of Western tourists gather in Bangkok.”
Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and one of the world’s major cities with a population of approximately 12 million people.
Just hours after the warning was issued, Thai authorities arrested one man with suspected ties to Hezbollah.
“A lebanese suspect from the Hizbollah group has been taken into custody by Thai officials and police are investigating further,” Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Charlem Yumbumrung said.
Yumbumrung said that the arrest comes after months of work, following a tip from Israel that Lebanese terrorist might be planning an operation in Bangkok.
“Following concern raised by the Israeli embassy about a possible attack by a group of Lebanese terrorists in Bangkok, Thai police officials had been coordinating with Israeli officials since before the new year,” he said according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
According to the BBC, Thai authorities have said that a general alert warning of the possibility of terrorist attacks in the city is not necessary because it would “cause panic and affect our tourism.”
Despite Thai reticence, the U.S. is not the only country warning of potential threats in the Thai capital. Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is also warning visitors to Thailand to “Exercise a high degree of caution.”
In its summary of the terror threat in Thailand, the Australian government warns: “We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Thailand due to the threat of terrorist attack, particularly in the provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla, where we advise you not to travel.”
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