Syrians linked to Isis ‘in Thailand to target Russians’, says leaked document

Thai police said they cannot confirm any Isis-linked Syrian activity

Alexandra Sims
Friday 04 December 2015 16:37
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Thai deputy police spokesman Major General Songpol Wattanachai sits with colleagues during a press conference
Thai deputy police spokesman Major General Songpol Wattanachai sits with colleagues during a press conference

Ten Syrians allegedly linked to Isis have entered Thailand to attack Russians, Thai police have said following warnings from Moscow.

A leaked document, which cites information from Russian Federal Security Forces, calls for security to be heightened around “target areas that Russian authorities are concerned about”.

Thai police have called for calm, adding they have not been able to confirm the whereabouts, identity or possible targets of the Syrians.

The leaked document, supposedly marked “urgent” and dated 27 November, was allegedly sent from a commander of Thailand’s Special Branch and to police units.

The document said intelligence from Russia warned Syrians “related to” Isis entered Thailand between 15 and 31 October to target Russians.

It added four of the suspects travelled to Pattaya, two to Phuket, two to Bangkok and two to an unknown destination.

Their plan was to target "Russians and Russia's alliance with Thailand" it says, according to the BBC.

A police officer who handles international crime matters said: "The document is real. We received it from Special Branch.

"The original communication was by word of mouth between Russian and Thai police. I don't know how the document was leaked."

More than 1.5 million Russians visited Thailand in 2013, however, the country's authorities have not yet confirmed whether Syrians have actually entered the country.

The Special branch Deputy police spokesman Songpol Wattanachai told reporters, police had not received warnings about Isis activity from any other foreign intelligence agency.

Mr Wattanachai said: “We're still trying to work out whether they even came in.”

National Security Council Chief General Thawip Netniyom said: "We have yet to find any unusual movement. Everything is safe rest assured.”

Russia began air strikes in Syria on 30 September and has heightened attacks in recent weeks.

An Isis affiliate claimed responsibility for downing a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula in October, killing all 224 people on board.

The warning comes three months after a Bangkok bomb attack killed 20 people. Authorities said the blast a retaliation against a crackdown on human smuggling gangs and not a terrorist attack.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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