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Pattaya Beach Resort in Thailand Prepares for Possible Iranian Terrorists Attack

Drew Noyes, Pattaya Times newspaper Pattaya City, Chonburi Police, US Embassy, Thailand Immigration, US Department of Homeland Security 17.02.2012 03:28
These three Iranians were at a bar on Walking Street, a popular tourist destination, drinking and partying with Thai staff just days before they set of bombs in Bangkok, Thailand's capital.

These three Iranians were at a bar on Walking Street, a popular tourist destination, drinking and partying with Thai staff just days before they set of bombs in Bangkok, Thailand's capital.

Pattaya Times Exclusive, Pattaya, Thailand - Interrogations of suspects responsible for recent bombings in Bangkok reveal Pattaya is also at risk of a possible bombing. Pattaya City officials and Chonburi police called a special emergency meeting to warn the public to be on the lookout for any possible terrorists in Pattaya.

Iranian terrorists may be targeting bomb attacks in Pattaya. At 2:30 pm Friday, February 17, an emergency meeting was called at Pattaya City Hall following a call from the Chonburi governor to Pattaya Mayor Ittiphol Khunplume. 

The meeting was to prepare the police, security forces, government officials and the public at large for a possible terrorist attack this weekend and beyond at Thailand’s largest beach resort as information was obtained from recently arrested terrorists. The total number of individuals suspected in the plots to bomb specific targets has risen to six, with a woman named Leila Rohani also being sought as a suspect. Immigration records show she left earlier this month on a flight headed to Tehran.

Another Iranian named Nikkhahfard Javad was seen on surveillance tapes in the area of Sukhumvit Soi 71 just before the explosion last Tuesday and is being sought by police as a suspect.

Two men holding Iranian passports are now in Thai police custody after bombs detonated in Bangkok; a third was arrested in Malaysia and is expected to be extradited. The same men had earlier been in Pattaya. The three captured Iranians suspected in a botched bomb plot targeting Israeli diplomats in Bangkok are considered by the US Department of Homeland Security to be associated with the Iranians said to be behind the attempted assassination of a Saudi diplomat in the USA.

The same three terrorists captured in Bangkok were in Pattaya just days before the blasts, an official said and it is believed they scouted secondary targets here.

"The three suspects stayed in different hotels in Pattaya," an immigration officer who did not want to be named told AFP. 

The most likely targets, an informed source says, are properties owned by Israeli business people in Pattaya, although “major targets like shopping centers and Walking Street cannot be ruled out,” declared the official.

In another forum, the Israeli Vice Prime Minister, Moshe Yaalon, said Iran is responsible. He identified Brigadier General Qasem Soleimani, Commander of the Quds Force, a covert arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, as the mastermind of the attacks in Bangkok, Georgia and India.

Mr. Yaalon said, “We see what is happening in India, Georgia and Thailand. It is the same pattern. The same bomb, the same lab, the same factory.” 

Thai police Chief Phriewphan Damapong said Thursday it is believed that Israeli diplomats were the intended target of the botched plot, which came to light following an apparently accidental explosion at a house in Bangkok on Tuesday. 

Thai Police have tracked down a Thai woman known as "Nancy" or “Nan” who escorted one of the men, Mohamad Khazaei, during his stay in Pattaya, he added. 

"The most important evidence we found are pictures in Nancy's mobile phone taken on the night of February 11 which prove that these suspects know each other," the officer said as reported by AFP.

Following the interview, Khazaei was detained trying to board a flight out of the country.

According to the Bangkok Post, the Thai woman was also in the suspect's hotel room "but didn't detect any irregularities except one time when he barred her from approaching a closet in the room." 

One of the men captured is named as 28-year-old Saeid Moradi who blew his own legs off as he hurled a bomb at Thai police who were chasing him from the house. 

At the Pattaya meeting police officials from eight different command stations, business owners and operators from the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association, the Thailand Hotel Association, the Walking Street Bar Association, the Baht Bus Association, Motorcycle Taxi Association and tour operators joined CPN shopping center management, civic and social leaders representing the various international communities and the press attended the briefing.

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