Accessibility links

Thailand Steps Up Fight Against Terrorism - 2003-06-11

Security in Thailand is being tightened after police broke up a terror cell. Jim Bertel reports the Jemaah Islamiah militants are suspected of planning to bomb embassies and beach resorts in the country.

Thai police say two of three suspected terrorists arrested Tuesday have confessed to being members of the regional terror network Jemaah Islamiah. A fourth suspect, a Singaporean, was arrested in Bangkok on May 16th. He has since been deported to Singapore where he is in custody.

Thai police say they have several other suspects under surveillance and anticipate making more arrests.

At the Australian embassy in Bangkok, visitors are being met with extensive new security checks in the wake of the terror arrests. Similar measures are in place across the city after authorities say they suspect five foreign embassies had been designated as targets. Police claim the terror cell was also targeting tourists in the beach resort town of Pattaya and other locations in the southeastern part of the country.

A U.S. embassy official in Bangkok praised this week’s arrests as good examples of Thailand’s efforts in fighting terrorism.

In Washington, Thailand’s Prime Minster Thaksin Shinawatra spoke of the growing cooperation between the United States and Thailand in the fight against terror.

“It is necessary that we should meet each other more frequently, so we can work on this strategy together to bring peace to the world, to fight against terrorism and to increase our trade and investment between our two countries.”

Jemaah Islamiah is the militant group accused of carrying out last year’s deadly bombings on the Indonesian island of Bali that killed more than 200 people. The militant group is also believed to have ties to Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist network.