Israel raises alert as targets affirmed
Thai police officers escort Iranian suspect Mohammad Khazaei (C), 42, at the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok Feb 16. Iran has denied any role in bomb blasts in Thailand attributed to a man with an Iranian passport. REUTERS photoThree Iranians detained after accidentally setting off explosives in Bangkok were planning to attack Israeli diplomats, Thailand’s top policeman said yesterday in the first confirmation by local officials that the group was plotting attacks in Thailand.
The allegation came after days of strong accusations by Israel that Iran was behind the botched plot as well as two others this week in India and the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Iran has denied the charges. Citing the similarity of bombs used in New Delhi and Tbilisi, national police chief Gen. Prewpan Dhamapong said Thai authorities now “know for certain that [the target] was Israeli diplomats. This issue was about individuals and the targets were specific. This was something personal.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor said security had been stepped up for its diplomatic staff abroad. “Obviously, security is of the essence at times like this,” Palmor said. “We are taking whatever measures are required to ensure that life and work can go on as usual.” The plot in Bangkok was discovered Feb. 14 only by accident, when explosives stored in a house occupied by several Iranian men blew up by mistake.
One of the Iranians, Mohammad Kharzei, was paraded before journalists yesterday. Prewpan said Kharzei had “partially confessed” and had acknowledged knowing one of the other suspects, Saeid Moradi, whose leg was sheered off by an explosive he was carrying as he fled police in the Thai capital’s busy Sukhumvit Road area. The third Iranian, Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, was detained in Malaysia and the country’s federal police spokesman, Ramli Yoosuf, said he was being investigated for terrorism-related activities linked to the Bangkok blasts. A Bangkok court has approved arrest warrants for all three suspects, as well as an Iranian woman named Leila Rohani, who had rented the destroyed house. However, Rohani has left Thailand and is now in Tehran, according to the top immigration police official Lt. Gen. Wiboon Bangthamai. All four now face criminal charges including possession of explosives, attempted murder of a policeman and causing explosions that damaged property.
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The Israeli Embassy to Turkey will commemorate the assassination of its security chief Ehud Sadan on the 20th anniversary of his death in a ceremony that coincides with recent assassination attempts against Israeli envoys in Thailand, India and Georgia.
Embassy staff said they decided to commemorate Sadan this year for the first time because it is the 20th anniversary of his murder. The embassy did not hold a ceremony on either the 10th or 15th anniversary.
In March 1992 Sadan was killed by a bomb placed under his car. Israel believes the attack was carried out by local militants under Iranian guidance in retaliation for the killing of Hezbollah Secretary-General Abbas Musawi by Israeli forces. The attack coincided with a mounting wave of terrorist attacks against foreign diplomats in Turkey at the time