With apologies as always to Dr. Seuss: Oh, the places you’ll “misunderstand” Islam! “Thailand arrests Hezbollah suspect after terror tipoff,” by Haroon Siddique for the Guardian, January 13:
Police in Thailand are questioning a suspected Hezbollah member, with the development coming as the US embassy warned American nationals of the threat of a terrorist attack in the country.
The suspected Hezbollah member, a Lebanese man, was arrested on Thursday after a tipoff from Israel about a potential attack in Bangkok, the Thai deputy prime minister, Chalerm Yoobamrung, said, adding that police had stepped up security.
Chalerm told Reuters: “A Lebanese suspect from the Hezbollah group has been taken into custody by Thai officials and police are investigating further.
“Following concern raised by the Israeli embassy about a possible attack by a group of Lebanese terrorists in Bangkok, Thai police officials have been co-ordinating with Israeli officials since before the new year.”
He said the authorities had been following two Lebanese men, but did not say what had happened to the other, and also suggested that Thailand had no strong evidence linking the men to a planned attack.
“Technically, the two men have not committed any crimes under the Thai law, so we could only use the immigration law to keep this one suspect in custody,” he said.
On Friday, the US embassy issued an emergency message warning that “foreign terrorists may be currently looking to conduct attacks against tourist areas in Bangkok in the near future. US citizens are urged to exercise caution when visiting public areas where large groups of western tourists gather in Bangkok”.
Thailand’s defence minister, Yuthasak Sasiprapha, said: “Thai officials had not intended to release the news at this time, since it could have an impact on tourism and cause panic among citizens.”
He added that the US embassy was naturally concerned about its citizens, and said Thai and US intelligence officials were monitoring other individuals. The authorities were applying extra precautionary measures in areas popular with tourists as well as Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, he added.
Yuthasak identified the Israeli embassy and synagogues as possible targets, while adding that intelligence reports said the planned attacks might be related to US activities against Iran….