The Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a travel advisory warning Israelis
to avoid trips to Thailand
and especially to the Bangkok
Friday's advisory, prioritized by the CTB as "High – Concrete Threat," followed an arrest made by Thai authorities of a Hezbollah-linked
Lebanese national, suspected of plotting a terror attack in the city.
The CTB's warning urges Israelis to avoid the area altogether if possible and to avoid mass gatherings in Bangkok areas known to be favorite tourist hotspots; as well as to be alert to any suspicious objects or people, to avoid accepting parcels form strangers in Bangkok and to abide by Thai security forces' orders.
"Following concern raised by the Israeli Embassy about a possible attack by a group of Lebanese terrorists in Bangkok, Thai police officials had been coordinating with Israeli officials since before the New Year," he added.
Earlier Friday, Thai authorities confirmed that a Lebanese national with ties to the Shiite terror group was arrested for allegedly plotting an attack in Bangkok.
"A Lebanese suspect from the Hezbollah group has been taken into custody by Thai officials and police are investigating further," Deputy PM Chalerm Yoobamrung minister said.
Bangkok (Photo: AFP)
Defense Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapha said Thai and US intelligence officials were monitoring the movements of other individuals and were stepping up precautions in areas deemed to be at risk such as tourist sites and Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport.
A Thai defense ministry source said Israeli Intelligence had contacted Thai officials on December 22 and again on January 8 with information of a viable terror threat and the possibility of an imminent attack on sites known as high-profile tourist attractions.
The arrest was made after the second Israeli warning, the source said, adding that Thai security officials were working closely with the United States and Israel.
The US embassy had warned of a possible attack by "foreign terrorists" and told its citizens to be careful in areas of the capital frequented by tourists.
"We're warning all US citizens to take caution when visiting public areas where Western tourists are known to gather in Bangkok," Walter Braunohler, a spokesman at the embassy, said.