Saturday, October 9, 2010
Thailand Threatened with Foreign Attacks in the next 20 days
Former defence official says 'Seals from neighbouring country' poised to launch attacks
Admiral Banawit Kengrian, a former deputy defence permanent secretary, yesterday confirmed a report that armed militia are plotting assassination of leaders and attacks in the capital during the next 20 days.
Bannawit said he had learnt from military intelligence officials that tens of foreign armed militia from a neighbouring country's Seals, with the same capability as the Royal Thai Navy's Seals and the Royal Thai Army's Special War Command or Red Hat, are planning terror strikes.
The report started making its rounds after last week's explosion in Nonthaburi shattered the country's fragile peace. Bannawit said the report was based on facts and militias had infiltrated several spots in Bangkok to commit sabotage.
"This is not a misleading report. Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha has admitted that he asked officials to follow these groups and had warned the government about this. Preventive measures are needed to thwart the terror attempt,'' Bannawit said.
Bannawit "tweeted" that people should watch out for two major sabotage strikes within 20 days. Four rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) found near the old headquarters of the opposition Pheu Thai Party could be linked to a Parliament attack.
He added that the secret command centre of former military top brass on Sukhumvit 3 has been closed. This could be because a major operation is in the making.
Democrat Party spokesman Buranat Samutrak said the government would arrest more suspects involved in bomb attacks over the past five months. The attackers have been classified into three groups: the group plotting sabotage at Santirat Withayalai school, the Bhum Jai Thai Party, and the military camp in Chiang Mai; the group linked to the missing weapons from an arms depot in Lop Buri; and trained militia.
The Democrat Party is concerned about planned rallies this month and the possibility demonstrators could instigate violence as in the past.
First Army Region commander Lt-General Udomdet Sitabutr confirmed the reports that ill-intentioned groups were planning attacks.
He called on the public to tip off security officials to prevent rogue elements from striking terror.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejajiva said the government had been vigilant in response to a statement from Senator Somchai Sawaengkarn that sabotage was planned against basic infrastructure such as power plants. The PM called on the red shirts and the yellow shirts not to violate laws when they stage rallies this month.
Supachai Jaisamut, spokesman for the coalition Bhum Jai Thai Party, yesterday said systematic attempts were being made to bring down the government by undermining confidence and faith in it. He said certain members of the media had been colluding in these efforts.
A Bhum Jai Thai source said a former premier had teamed up with a veteran politician and certain journalists in a bid to bring down the government in a coordinated move. The Nation Bangkok