Hezbollah planned attack on Israeli tourists in Bangkok, says report

Photo: Hezbollah planned attack on Israeli tourists in Bangkok, says report / Arab World

One of the men suspected of belonging to Shiite Lebanese movement Hezbollah has admitted to planning an attack on Israeli tourists in Bangkok, a Thai newspaper reported on Friday.

Bangkok Post, citing a source involved in the investigation, reported that the men have been identified as French-Lebanese Daoud Farhat and Lebanese-Filipino Youssef Ayad, Al Arabiya reported.

The newspaper said Farhat and Ayad arrived days before the start of a festival called Songkran on April 13, but were arrested on suspicion of links to Hezbollah.

Both were born in Lebanon but authorities have to confirm if their travel documents are genuine.

Assistant national police chief Winai Thongsong told the newspaper that the two were arrested at different locations in Bangkok after Thai police received intelligence from Israel about a planned plot targeting Israeli tourists.

The source said Ayad has admitted that Hezbollah entered Thailand to carry out a bomb attack against Israeli tourists and other Israeli groups on Khao San Road during Songkran.

"Now we can seize materials, such as nails and bolts, used in making bombs from their homes in Bangkok," the source said, adding "we are taking the holder of the Philippines passport to Rayong province to search for more bomb-making material kept there."

The source also said that authorities are trying to track down Hezbollah operatives in Thailand.

"If we had been unable to arrest the men during Songkran, a bomb attack would certainly have taken place somewhere on Khao San Road," said the source, according to the newspaper.

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