CHIANGRAI TIMES – The Foreign Ministry will ask American, Canadian and Australian ambassadors to clarify their issuance of travel alerts due to possible terror attacks in Bangkok after the arrest on Thursday of a member of the Hizbollah militant group.
Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said on Saturday he felt disappointed that the US, Canadian and Australian embassies in Bangkok had issued warnings to their citizens of possible terrorist attacks in the capital without discussing the issue with the Thai Foreign Ministry first. He said the move would affect Thailand’s tourism industry and confidence in its public security.
He said the ministry would send letters to the American, Canadian and Australian ambassadors, seeking explanations about the issuance of the warnings before taking counter-measures.
Mr Surapong echoed earlier remarks made by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung that the Thai authorities had received information about the terror suspect before the US issued the warning.
Police detained a Lebanese man linked to the Hizbollah group at Suvarnabhumi airport on Thursday night as he attempted to leave the kingdom.
The man allegedly told police that his group had planned to attack public areas in Bangkok but cancelled it because Thailand’s security units had learned about the plans.
The man’s arrest had prompted the United States and other countries to issue warnings on Friday that tourist venues in Bangkok could be terror targets.