Entries in Bangkok (10)


Bangkok Bomb Plot: Photos Show Explosives Hidden in $27 Radio

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- An alleged Iranian hit squad used $27 portable radios to hide at least five bombs that Israeli and American authorities say they intended to use against Israeli targets in Bangkok, Thailand.

Exclusive photos of one undetonated bomb, obtained by ABC News, show the inside of the radio packed with tiny ball bearings and six magnets.  Bomb experts say the magnets indicate the bomb was designed to be stuck to the side of a vehicle.

A surveillance photo of one of the alleged hit squad members, identified as an Iranian national named Saeid Moradi, shows him holding a radio in each hand.

According to authorities, a bomb exploded in the Bangkok house where Moradi and two other Iranians had been staying.  After the blast, Moradi attempted to hail a cab.  When the driver refused to pick him up, he allegedly threw a grenade, injuring four bystanders.

When police approached, Moradi allegedly threw another grenade, but lost both of his legs when it bounced back and exploded near him, according to Thai authorities.  He was arrested following the incident and remains in custody in Thailand.

After the attack, police say they discovered two unexploded bombs in the house where Moradi and the other Iranians had been staying, including the one shown in the photos.

The authorities in Bangkok say they recovered more than a pound of white military explosive from one unexploded bomb that they said was to be detonated with an M26 hand grenade fuse.  The photos show a pin that when pulled, authorities said, would trigger an explosion about four and a half seconds after it was pulled.


Israeli authorities and U.S. bomb experts say the bomb in the photos is strikingly similar to those used in other attacks last week in the republic of Georgia and India.  "While there are small differences," said one U.S. expert, "they appear to be factory made."

Multiple authorities told ABC News the devices were either slipped through airport security or were smuggled in a diplomatic pouch, which are not screened by security.

A magnetic bomb was discovered attached to the car of an Israeli diplomat in Tbilisi, Georgia and a similar device was believed responsible for the attack in New Delhi, which injured the wife of an Israeli diplomat, her driver and two passing motorists.

Iran has denied any connection with the arrests in Bangkok or to the other attacks.

Yoram Cohen, the head of Israeli's internal security service, Shin Bet, told an audience at a closed forum in Tel Aviv recently that Iran is trying to hit Israeli targets because of what it believes are Israeli attacks that have killed at least five scientists in its nuclear program.

What concerns authorities in the U.S. is that should Israel go to war with Iran, Israeli and Jewish targets in the U.S. could be hit by similar bombs in a terror campaign. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Police Seek Two More Suspects in Bangkok Explosions

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BANGKOK) -- Police in Thailand are on the lookout for two more suspects following a series of explosions that rattled a residential area in Bangkok earlier this week.

Three Iranian men were detained after a bomb in their rented house apparently detonated accidentally on Tuesday.  The men then fled and were ultimately caught by police.

Thai authorities say the men planned to target Israeli diplomats with explosives that could be attached to vehicles.

Israel has also linked the Iranians to recent attacks against Israeli diplomatic staff in India and the country of Georgia.  Iran has denied the allegations.

On Friday, Thai police said one of the two new suspects may be an explosives expert who was training the men. The other suspect is thought to have rented the home the men were using.

Meanwhile, local media in Bangkok Friday ran a photo of the three Iranian men allegedly socializing with what police say were prostitutes. The photo was taken in the nearby beach resort city of Pattaya before the men came to Bangkok.

The photo shows the Iranian men sitting around a restaurant table with two Thai women. Hookah water pipes and a beer bottle can be seen on the table. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Third Iranian Detained in Connection to Bangkok Explosions

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BANGKOK) -- Two Iranian men were caught in Bangkok on Tuesday after a series of explosions rattled a residential area there.  And now, another suspect has been detained.

According to officials, a third Iranian who had fled to neighboring Malaysia was caught on Wednesday.  Thai police say the Iranians were probably planning to attack individuals, rather than buildings or crowds.  A senior Thai intelligence official, speaking anonymously to global news agency AFP, said the men were preparing to target Israeli diplomats.

Israel has also linked the Iranians to recent attacks against Israeli diplomatic staff in India and the country of Georgia.  Iran, however, denies any involvement.

On Tuesday, an apparently accidental explosion tore through a home where the Iranians were living.  Two men were caught in the aftermath, and another reportedly tried to lob a grenade at police, but it exploded nearby, severing his legs.

Police searched the men's home and say they found C-4 explosives that could be attached to vehicles.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok issued a warning to Americans to be alert in public and to watch out for unattended packages or bags.

A U.S. Embassy spokesperson told ABC News that the U.S. condemns the attack in Bangkok, but could not speculate on any possible connections to the attacks in India or Georgia.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


At Least Five Dead after Multiple Blasts in Bangkok

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BANGKOK) -- A series of three explosions in Bangkok Tuesday injured five people, including one foreign man, according to local reports.

One explosion reportedly happened in a house in a bustling Bangkok neighborhood.  Local media said the second blast damaged a taxi, while the third injured the foreigner, who police say may be Iranian.  His legs were blown off reportedly by a grenade he was wielding.

Three Thai men and a Thai woman were also hurt in the explosions.

Last month, a Lebanese-Swedish man said to be affiliated with Hezbollah was caught by Thai police. He later led them to a large cache of urea fertilizer and liquid ammonium nitrate, which can be turned into a bomb similar to that which was used in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Also in January, the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok issued an alert saying American citizens should beware of potential terrorist threats, but Thai police said Thailand was not a terrorist target itself.

A spokesman at the American Embassy told ABC News Radio he could not yet comment on Tuesday's events.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Citizens Warned of Possible Terror Attacks in Bangkok

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BANGKOK) -- American citizens in Thailand are being warned of potential terror attacks that may take place soon in Bangkok.

The U.S. embassy in Thailand issued an emergency message on Friday, alerting that "foreign terrorists may be currently looking to conduct attacks against tourist areas in Bangkok in the near future."

The embassy urged Americans to "exercise caution when visiting public areas where large groups of Western tourists gather in Bangkok."

"U.S. citizens are encouraged to maintain a heightened awareness when out in public; be alert for unattended packages/bags in public/crowded places and report any suspicious behavior to the nearest law enforcement personnel.  We also encourage you to keep a low profile in public areas, particularly areas frequented by foreign tourists," it added.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Thailand PM: Impossible to Protect All of Bangkok from Floodwaters

PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP/ Getty Images(BANGKOK, Thailand) -- Describing Thailand’s worst floods in decades as a “national crisis,” Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told reporters Thursday that protecting all of Bangkok from floodwaters would be impossible.

“Flood waters are coming from every direction and we cannot control them because it's a huge amount of water,” she said.  “The longer we block the water, the higher it gets.”

Up until Thursday, Shinawatra had maintained that Bangkok would be spared.  But efforts to keep the capital’s nine million people dry have been complicated by a seasonal high tide.

Central Bangkok has escaped major flooding so far, as the government diverts water to areas outside the main capital to prevent the Chao Phraya River from bursting its banks.  For now, the government has opted to use eastern Bangkok to drain floodwaters flowing in from the north.  That’s meant “sacrificing” seven districts, including Sai Mai.

Bangkok Gov. Sukhumbhand Paribatra has already advised residents in those areas to unplug electrical appliances, move belongings to higher ground and study the city's evacuation plan, saying they had 24 hours to prepare for possible flooding.

Thailand’s main international airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport, is operating normally and protected by a 3.5 meter wall.  But there is concern that Don Muang Airport, where the government has set up its emergency operation, could be flooded.  Thai military has already begun moving their aircraft there.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bangkok Flooding: Officials Hope Floodwalls Will Protect City

Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images(BANGKOK, Thailand) -- Thai government officials are bracing for the possible onslaught of flood waters Saturday as the capital city of Bangkok secures its floodwalls.

The Thai military has been working around the clock to firm up floodwalls just outside of Bangkok, as the government rushes to stay ahead of floodwaters and save the commercial heart of Thailand.

Prime Minister Yingluck Sinawatra said on Saturday that 10 provinces in Thailand were still at "critical risk" from flooding, but that Bangkok's 9 million residents would likely be spared.

Monsoon rains have swamped more than half of Thailand since July, killing nearly 300 people, and displacing millions more.

Soldiers have widened canals, and built floodwalls to keep the water from spilling south, into the capital.

The worst flood to hit Thailand in decades has now become the country's most expensive disaster, with damages topping $3 billion.

In central Bangkok, the waiting game continues. Paesita Dussaewlnwa, who works at a jewelry store, put up a concrete flood wall last week, and stacked sandbags behind it.

She moved all her products to higher ground, after watching rain pound the capital for days.

"Yes we are concerned. We worry about the water because In Ayutthaya, it is 100 percent flooded, and all of that will come here," Dussaewlnwa told ABC News.

Much of Bangkok lies behind a sturdy system of flood walls, dams and dikes that have been recently reinforced, according to officials.

"I insist that the floods will only affect outer Bangkok and will not be widespread in other areas," Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Friday while touring the city's defenses.

U.S. marines joined the fight on Saturday by bringing sandbags and relief supplies.

"They'll be working of course with the Thai military. This is an important step for us to see how we can help Thailand best at a very, very difficult time," said Kristie Kenney, U.S. Ambassador to Thailand.

While the plan to divert water away from Thailand's economic center is working so far, it is little relief for those living outside of it.

In the old capital of Ayutthaya, residents walk through waist-deep water, as they try to save what's left of their homes and businesses.

Volunteers float supplies in, filling boats with water bottles. More than 200 major highways and roads are now underwater.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Flood Waters Threaten Bangkok Deluge

ABC News(BANGKOK, Thailand) -- The rain is coming down hard in Bangkok and there is more on its way -- this, at a time when rain is the last thing the city needs.

The city of 9 million people is working around the clock to save the city from floodwaters that have already submerged more than half of the country and killed nearly 300 people.

Historic temples are below water, major car factories have shut down, and even elephants are left stranded.

The next 48 hours will be crucial as flood waters cascade south from the northern part of the country towards the low lying city of Bangkok at the mouth of the Gulf of Thailand at the same time that high tide is expected.

The government said much of Bangkok lies behind a sturdy system of flood walls, dams and dikes that have been reinforced recently.

Others are not so sure. Along the outer banks of the city volunteers race to build floodwalls. In one village where people have been sandbagging for the last two weeks, they are running out of sand.

"If we cannot protect this dam, all the water will go through Bangkok...and...I don't know what's going to happen after that," one volunteer said.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Thailand Busts Animal Trafficking Network

Paula Bronstein/Getty Images(BANGKOK) -- Anti-trafficking officers at Bangkok International Airport have hit pay dirt with the discovery of rare baby animals hidden in the suitcases of a man bound for Dubai. They found two leopards in the luggage, a bear in a bag, a pair of panthers and matching monkeys. All were sedated in the various pieces of baggage belonging to a 36-year-old man from the United Arab Emirates.

Agents had tracked the suspect since he was observed purchasing animals on the Thai black market. Authorities believe the individual was part of a larger wildlife trafficking network and a search is now on for accomplices.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Thailand's Annual Water Festival Underway in Bangkok

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(BANGKOK) -- Thailand's annual water festival kicked off in Bangkok Wednesday, bringing with it a country-wide party and massive water fights.

For three days every April, Thailand celebrates its traditional new year.  Businesses close and people take to the streets to drink, dance, eat food, and douse each other with squirt guns and buckets of water.

This year, nearly 3,500 people squared off with water pistols outside a Bangkok shopping mall Wednesday.  Organizers say it was a world record for the biggest-ever water fight, beating a 2007 gathering in Spain.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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