I’d like to look more closely at the alleged Hezbollah terror plot announced last week in Bangkok.
Thai police said they had broken up a terror plot aimed at tourist sites in Bangkok, after U.S. warnings triggered in part by worsening tensions with Iran following the killing of a nuclear scientist in Tehran.
National police chief Gen. Priewpan Damapong said a man in custody for questioning on Saturday said the bomb plot had been called off when authorities caught wind of it. Gen. Priewpan described the man as of Lebanese descent, with links to the Iranian-backed, Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah. Another suspect is still at large, he said.
Last April, in what was billed as an unprecedented step, Mossad issued a warning (leaked to the media) to Israelis overseas about an imminent Hezbollah plot. Among those implicated in this imminent plot that apparently never came to fruition was Lebanese businessman Naim Haris, who was allegedly in charge of recruiting for Hezbollah overseas. Reportedly, some time last year Shin Bet–also in an unusual move–released a picture of Haris, though I haven’t found any public record of it in a quick Google search.
Then, on December 18 of last year, Israel alerted US and Thai officials about the presence of two Lebanese terrorists in Bangkok. Those two alleged terrorists are presumed to be Haris and Atris Hussein.
On December 18, Israel reportedly told the US and Thailand about the presence of at least two Hezbollah members in Bangkok. The three countries then began a secret, three-week-long hunt of the terror suspects
Last Friday, the US Embassy in Thailand issued a warning that foreign terrorists might be trying to attack tourists in Bangkok.
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.
Note: Due to a technical error, some recipients received this message – followed by a recall message – a few minutes later. Please disregard the recall message.
Israel’s Counterterrorism Bureau did the same.
I checked with a friend who lives and works–at a US multinational–within blocks of one of the alleged targets, and he got no specialized warning.
By the time the Israeli warning, at least, went out, Thai police had already arrested Atris at the airport. Read more