During this week-long Passover holiday, a large number of Israelis travel abroad. Thailand is a popular choice. Terrorists know it, and Thailand has announced the capture of a Hezbollah gang in Bangkok that had intended to kill Israeli tourists.
Israeli sources say Israeli intelligence had a key role in detecting the Hezbollah plot. Israel informed Thai authorities of the danger, and Thailand made the arrests.
While Hezbollah is ostensibly a Lebanese group –Shi’ite Muslims from Lebanon who have sworn to wage war against Israel and Jews — Hezbollah’s financing and orders generally come from Iran.
Here are excerpts from The Bangkok Post on the latest arrests:
“The Israeli embassy has asked the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) to step up safety measures for tourists on Rambutri and Khao San roads until Tuesday after an alleged terrorist plot to attack Israelis [was foiled by the arrest of two foreign men]…
“MPB chief Kamronwit Thoopkrachang said he had received a letter from the embassy asking for extra protection for tourists staying on the popular backpacker roads in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon district. … The pair are accused of planning attacks on Israeli tourists on Khao San Road [at six locations], and of having close ties to Hezbollah.
“He said many tourists spend Passover in the backpacker district, where they gather at a synagogue to pray and sing, and visit Jewish restaurants and guest houses.”
This is not the first time that the Mossad — obviously tracking the movements and activities of Shi’ite Muslim terrorists — has discovered and foiled an Iran-backed plot in Thailand.
If Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper is correct in reporting that Thai authorities plan to deport the two Hezbollah men they’ve now captured, Israel will be sorely disappointed. Here’s what The Daily Star wrote:
“French-Lebanese national Daoud Farhat and Lebanese-Filipino national Youssef Ayad were arrested earlier this week on suspicion of having links to Hezbollah.
“The two arrived in Thailand several days before Passover which also coincided with the Thai festival of Songkran. Although it was Farhat’s first trip to the country, Ayad had visited Thailand 17 times before, the Bangkok Daily Post said.
“The Post quoted Assistant National Police Chief Winai Thongsong as saying that the men were arrested at different locations in Bangkok after Thai police received intelligence from Israel about a planned attack during Passover in Khao San Road, popular among Israeli tourists.
“The paper also quoted an anonymous investigator saying that police were in pursuit of at least nine people suspects of having links to Hezbollah.
“A source close to the investigation told the paper that Ayyad confessed his group entered Thailand to carry out a bomb attack against Israeli tourists and other Israeli groups… ‘We are taking the holder of the Philippines passport to Rayong province to search for more bomb-making material kept there,’ the source added, noting that the arrest of the men foiled the attack.
“Winai said the two men would be deported back to the last countries they traveled from after police finalize their investigation.”