Bangkok, Suspects ‘re-enact’ bombing

Re-Enact

TWO PRIME suspects in the Erawan Shrine bomb attack that killed 20 and injured more than 100 people re-enacted the crime at 19 key spots in Bangkok yesterday.

Adem Karadag, or Bilal Muhammed, who was the first suspect arrested in connection with the August 17 attack in an apartment in Min Buri, and Mieraili Yusufu, the second suspect arrested at the beginning of this month near the Cambodia border at Sa Kaew’s Aranyaprathet district, were taken to re-enact the crime at key spots where they confessed to committing the crime, Royal Thai Police Pol Lt-General Prawut Thawornsiri said yesterday.

Prawut said Adem’s confession was in line with Mieraili’s confession and Adem’s statements also implicated others in the bombing gang. “The suspects’ statements given to police are also in line with other evidence that police found and scientific evidence. This led us to believe that their confession is true,” Prawut said.

Both suspects re-enacted the crime separately. Adem started the re-enactment outside the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel where he allegedly got off a tuk-tuk; the second spot was at the Erawan Shrine where Adem placed a bag containing the bomb. Mieraili was brought to Rama I Road, opposite the Erawan Shrine. The third spot was at Soi Mahadlekluang where Mieraili got on a motorcycle to escape; the fourth spot was at Chalermlok bridge where Mieraili confessed that he threw his mobile phone into the Saen Saeb canal. The fifth spot was at the fifth gate of Lumpini Park, where Adem allegedly got off a motorcycle to walk to Lumpini Park. The sixth spot was at a toilet near the fifth gate of the park where Adem changed his clothes before leaving the park through gate 4 on Rama IV Road to get in a taxi. The seventh spot was near Padung Krung Kasem Canal at the third bridge near Hua Lampong train station where Adem waited for Mieraili to give him the bomb. Mieraili waited at the second bridge. The eighth spot was at a bench near Padung Krung Kasem Canal near Hua Lampong train station where bags were switched.

The ninth spot was near the fence of the Hua Lampong train station near the Padung Krung Kasem Canal where Adem got into a tuk-tuk. The 10th spot was where the tuk-tuk driver stopped to talk to his friend. The 11th spot was the Cockpit shop opposite Ramada Hotel where a bag containing an explosive device was delivered to Zubair – the blue-shirted man who dropped a bomb at Sathorn Pier; the 12th spot was at a mosque between Soi Charoenkrung 105 and 107 where Adem took 20 minutes to pray.

The 13th spot was at the LPG gas station opposite the mosque where Adem changed into a yellow shirt. The 14th spot was at Kor Laem post office where Adem got on a taxi. The 15th spot was at Soi Charoen Nakhon 61 and Chao Phraya Princess pier, where a bag containing a bomb was located.

The 16th spot was Charoen Nakhon Road opposite Soi Charoen Nakhon 61 where the suspect got into a taxi. The 17th spot was Min Buri market where the suspect got off a taxi. The 18th spot was at a 7-Eleven shop at Min Buri where Adem bought some goods and the 19th spot was at room 412 of Poon-anan apartment where Adem was arrested.

National police chief General Somyot Poompanmuang said the suspects had confessed because they were confronted with evidence. He said the motive for the bombing was the crackdown on human trafficking, which put an end to the illegal business. The suspects were part of the human-trafficking ring and might have been hired by an ill-intentioned group to commit the crime. The re-enactment was carried out under heavy security with some 600 military and police officers being deployed to keep security, who accompanied the two suspects to all the sites. Adem wore a yellow T-shirt and a bulletproof vest and shorts. Mieraili was in a blue T-shirt with a bulletproof vest inside the shirt and shorts. Before the enactment, the Bangkok Military Court approved police’s request to detain the two suspects for 12 days from September26 to October 7. The suspects would be detained at the temporary remand facility in Nakhon Chaisri after re-enacting the crime.

Prawut had announced a list of 17 suspects for whom arrest warrants were approved by the court. All 17 were charged with colluding to commit premeditated murder; colluding to commit attempted premeditated murder; colluding to produce bombs, causing death, serious injuries and damage to the assets of others; conspiring to damage property; colluding to possess explosive devices without permission; colluding to carry explosive devices into a city or public places without justified reasons; and colluding to possess weapons without permission.

Source: The Nation

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Thai Police: Adem Karadag planted bomb

Mr Karadag is brought to the Min Buri court

Police on Saturday said a foreigner held in custody over last month’s deadly Bangkok attack was the same yellow-shirted man seen on CCTV placing a rucksack at the shrine moments before the blast.

Authorities have earlier said it was unlikely that either of the two men detained over the Aug 17 blast, which left 20 dead, were the bomber in what has been an often confusing and contradictory police investigation.

On Saturday, national police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri said the probe now revealed the first arrested suspect, a man police identified as Adem Karadag whose nationality remains unconfirmed, was the bomber.

“It is confirmed that Adem is the man in the yellow shirt based on CCTV footage, eyewitness accounts and his own confession,” Pol Lt Gen Prawut said.

“After he placed the bomb at the shrine he called a motorbike taxi and changed his shirt at a restroom in (nearby) Lumpini Park.”

Mr Karadag’s lawyer — who says his client’s real name is Bilal Mohammed — could not immediately be reached for comment but earlier this week had cast doubt on rumours of his confession to the crime and has said his client was not in the country at the time of the attack.

The suspect now faces up to eight charges including premeditated murder, Pol Lt Gen Prawut said.

Mr Karadag is due to undergo a reenactment of his alleged role in the crime — a standard Thai police procedure — starting at the shrine from 11am.

The unprecedented attack in the heart of Bangkok’s bustling downtown district last month stunned the nation and dealt a fresh blow to Thailand’s reputation as a tourist haven.

Earlier report: Military court approves 17 warrants for city bombings

The majority of the blast’s fatalities were Chinese visitors, who believe prayers at the shrine bring good fortune. More than 100 other people were left injured.

The motive for the bombing remains unclear but this month Thailand’s police chief linked the attack to China’s Uighur minority for the first time, after weeks of speculation over their role.

Somyot Poompanmoung blamed the blast on a gang of people-smugglers motivated by revenge for a crackdown on their lucrative trade including the transfer of Uighurs.

That motive has been widely dismissed by security experts who instead have pointed to Thailand’s forced deportation of 109 Uighurs to China in July, a move that ignited anger in Turkey where nationalist hardliners see the minority as part of a global Turkic-speaking family.

Mostly Muslim Uighurs have long accused Beijing of religious and cultural repression in China’s far western Xinjiang region, with hundreds of refugees believed to have fled in recent years, often heading to Turkey via Southeast Asia.

Police arrested Mr Karadag in a flat on the outskirts of Bangkok late last month saying he was in possession of bomb-making equipment and dozens of fake Turkish passports.

The other man is custody has been identified as Yusufu Mieraili, who was seized with a Chinese passport that police believe is real. It notes Xinjiang as his birthplace.

Mr Karadag’s lawyer Chuchart Kanphai has previously said his client was born in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, but moved to Turkey in 2004 where he received Turkish nationality and found work as a truck driver with his brother.

He entered Thailand on Aug 21, four days after the bomb blast, with the aim of finding work in Malaysia, the lawyer has said.

Source: BangkokPost

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Three women detained over possible link to #Bangkok Sathorn bomber

3 woman

A combined force yesterday searched a female-only apartment complex in Bangkok’s Din Daeng area and detained three women for questioning.

The operation was part of an investigation into the suspect behind the Sathorn pier bomb. The suspect, who wore a blue shirt, was caught on CCTV carrying a bag and leaving it on Taksin Bridge before kicking it into a canal on August 17. It exploded the following afternoon without causing any casualties.

In yesterday’s joint operation, luggage and a computer were seized and fingerprints and DNA evidence collected to check for links to the Erawan Shrine and Sathorn bombings.

An informed source said that two female students rented the room before the mother of one of the students arranged for a middle-aged woman to stay with them two months ago.

The source said that a police probe found that three men, who were believed to have fled the country, had left items at the apartment.

An initial search of the apartment did not uncover any bomb components or substances used in bombs, the source added.

Sriwara said the search stemmed from information that an individual involved in the bombings had left personal items at the apartment a few days ago.

The authorities wanted to get details on that individual and possibly come up with a sketch of the person after speaking with the three women, he said.

She arranged a taxi

“We cannot confirm if the person that left the items was among those wanted in this case. We can just say it wasn’t Wanna Suansan,” he said, in reference to the Thai woman wanted in connection with the case.

Another informed source said that initial inquiries found that the mother’s friend who resided at the apartment might be linked to the man in a blue shirt who carried the Sathorn Pier bomb. It is thought she may have arranged a taxi to get him to the pier.

She is also believed to be the person who collected personal items of another suspect in the case at an apartment located between Soi On Nut 44 and 46 police searched on Saturday night.

Source: The Nation

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The Hunt is on

Hunt
Police put the alleged bomb courier in a yellow T-shirt for re-enactment near the Erawan shrine, but the focus is on Interpol to find the mastermind.

Police seek blast mastermind
Interpol help sought in overseas bolt hole

Police are seeking help from Interpol to hunt the suspected Erawan shrine and Sathorn pier bombings mastermind who they believe has fled to Bangladesh.

Deputy national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda, who leads the investigation into the bombings, Wednesday said Abudureheman Abudusataer, known as Ishan, is believed to be the head of the network which caused the deadly bomb blast at the shrine on Aug 17, based on the accounts of the detained suspects.

Interpol will be asked to contact Bangladeshi authorities following reports that Ishan had fled to the country, he said.

An investigation is underway to look into money wired from overseas to determine whether it was used to sponsor the attack, he said.

Pol Gen Chakthip said he is confident police will be able to arrest the yellow-shirted man, who was seen in CCTV footage planting the bomb-laden backpack at the shrine, based on evidence he gathered.

Hunt 2

Meanwhile, a source said investigations found Mr Ishan had sent an audio clip via Facebook to other suspects containing the screaming voice of a woman whom he claimed was a Uighur and was being deported from Thailand to China.

He met four other key suspects in Thailand. They are Yusufu Mieraili; Bilal Mohammed, also known as Adem Karadag; a man wearing a blue shirt who dropped a bomb into the river at Sathon pier, and the man in a yellow shirt who is believed to be the Erawan shrine bomber.

There is still another suspect living overseas who sponsored the attack, the source said, adding the person booked air tickets en route to Turkey for the suspects. Money was wired to the bank accounts of some suspects, the source said.

Investigators said earlier Mr Mieraili said Mr Ishan had arranged meetings of the bombing cell and assigned them their tasks.

Police sources said the warrant for the arrest of Mr Ishan was issued on Tuesday but police later decided to rescind it as more investigation was needed to ensure stronger evidence.

National police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri said information about Mr Ishan has been shared with Interpol to help check his records.

According to the spokesman, the bomb used in the attack was unusual and seldom seen elsewhere.

However, some bomb-making materials, including fuses, can be acquired in Thailand.

The National Council for Peace and Order called on fertiliser and chemical substance shops to install CCTV.

Pol Lt Gen Prawut insisted more than 10 people were involved in the bombing network.

READ MORE: The BangkokPost 

Hunt 3

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Were the Grey Wolves behind #Bangkok bombing?


Bomber 2-9
Adem Karadag’ has been arrested in connection to the Bangkok bombing. But is he a member of the Grey Wolves? Photo: Royal Thai Police.

On 8 July 2015, the deportation of 109 Uighur refugees back to China by Thai authorities shifted mob attacks against Asian tourists in Turkey to protests at the Consulate General of Thailand in Istanbul and the Thai Embassy in Ankara.

After stoning the consulate, smashing the windows and wrenching the doors open, the mob poured consular documents and files onto the street.

Roughly two months later, on 28 August a man identified as Adem Karadag, with a fake Turkish passport, was arrested by Thai police in Nong Chok district of Bangkok, as a possible key suspect in the 17 August bombing at the Erawan shrine.

He was found with dozens of fake Turkish passports and explosives similar to the ones used in what is now Thailand’s most deadly peacetime attack.

The recent anti-Thai and anti-Chinese protests by the Grey Wolves and the arrest of an alleged Turkish citizen by Thai police has sparked arguments putting the group at the forefront of those possibly behind the deadly bombing that killed 20 and left more than one hundred injured.

For example Susan Cunningham’s piece in Forbes outlines long-time security analyst Anthony Davis’ argument for the strong probability of the Grey Wolves’ involvement in the Bangkok bombings. Lindsay Murdoch of Australia’s Fairfax media has also outlined the Grey Wolves past activities, including military operations in post-Soviet states with Turkic people. But before the blame is laid squarely at their feet, a few key points need to be considered.

First, the Grey Wolves, a group also known as the Idealist Hearts, was founded in February 1968 to break the hegemony of socialist groups in Turkish universities throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Formed by the leader of the Nationalist Action Party, Alparslan Turkes, the group’s raison d’etre was anti-communism.

The Nationalist Action Party has since then held firm de facto control of the Idealist Hearts, although the organisation is not a formal sub-branch of the party. Hearts members came to be known as the Grey Wolves because of their logo, which was originally derived from a Turkic myth.

The organisation soon spread all over Turkey, and until the 1980s, a fierce anti-left stance was combined with Pan-Turkic myths, racism and some Islamic discourses under a typical fascistic leadership cult and strict hierarchy.

During the late 1970s many Grey Wolves sympathisers were recruited for counter-guerrilla operations and used as hoods in the paramilitary actions of the Turkish “deep state” (a group of anti-democratic coalitions with strong influence in Turkish politics) against rising left wing activism in the country.

During this era, members of the group were also involved in several assassinations of left wing intellectuals and a few massacres against Turkey’s Alevite population who were the main base of the far left during that decade.

In the decade following the 1980 Turkish military coup, the suppression of the Turkish left by the military, the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the consequent eradication of “the traditional other” of the Grey Wolves left the group in an ideological vacuum.

With this identity crisis a few sympathisers of the group became largely affiliated with the Turkish Mafia. Several members of the Hearts established connections with international crime, with some becoming hit men for international terrorist groups.

One frequenter of the Grey Wolves, Mehmet Ali Agca, who was convicted of assassinating a prominent left-wing Turkish journalist, was later caught at St Peter’s Square after attempting to assassinate Pope Jean Paul in May 1981.

In the 2000s the organisation turned into a nation-wide club where attendees were exposed to a blend of pan-Turkic, Islamist and anti-Kurdish racist ideas. Today the appeal of this ideological mixture is mostly attractive for Turkey’s least educated youth, and they gather in protests from time to time for pan-Turkic causes.

Despite the Grey Wolves possibly providing a large pool of followers to be used in petty crime, minor mafia activities and even human trafficking, I highly doubt their capacity and preparedness to conduct a bombing such as that at Bangkok’s Erawan shrine.

Simply put, the group has never participated in such a transnational mass bombing.

The person charged in Bangkok may be a sympathiser or a regular member/visitor of branches of this organisation in Turkey. He may also be a supporter of the pan-Turkic ideology of the Grey Wolves. Furthermore, the Grey Wolves might have been so agitated in their nationalist feelings for the Uighur cause to develop strong anti-Thai and anti-Chinese responses.

However, as an organisation the Idealist Hearts, or Grey Wolves, under strict control of the leadership of Turkey’s Nationalist Action Party, is unlikely to be the group behind the Bangkok bombings.

Dr M. Murat Yurtbilir is an associate lecturer in Turkish studies at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, The Australian National University. His research focuses on Turkish politics, history and foreign policy, and international politics in Central Asia.

Source: NewMandala

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Erawan Shrine bomb suspect arrested: PM

1-9

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced yesterday that the key suspect for the August 17 Erawan Shrine bombing has been arrested.

Prayut said the suspect was arrested in Sa Kaew province, adding that he was not Thai and that police are checking the man’s nationality. He said the Turkish embassy has been informed of the arrest and that the suspect has been brought to Bangkok for questioning.

Nation TV reported that the suspect resembled the man in a yellow T-shirt, who was captured on CCTV leaving a backpack under a bench in the shrine compound. The backpack exploded minutes later, killing 20 people and injuring hundreds of others.

Police spotted the suspect when he was trying to sneak across the border into Cambodia from Aranyaprathet, Burapha Taskforce chief Maj-General Srisak Poonprasit said. The suspect had a black backpack, in which he was found to be carrying clothes similar to the ones the suspected bomber was seen wearing on the day of the attack.

Erawan Shrine 25-8
Source: The Nation

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Erawan bomb suspect arrested

Erawan bomber 1
Turkish suspect arrested in Bangkok with bomb making equipment.

Police arrested an Arab-looking man at a rented room in Bangkok’s Nong Chok district Saturday afternoon and found a lot of bomb making tools and materials.

The arrest took place at Poon-anand apartment in Nongchok district in eastern Bangkok. A large quantity of explosive-making materials were found at the apartment.

Initially, police said the suspect was a Turksih but Police spokesman Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thawornsiri late said the suspect carried a fake Turkish passport.

As a result, police could not yet confirm his nationality yet.

Prawut said the suspect was not the bomber but might belong to the movement as police found bomb making materials in his room, including 0.5-mm ball bearings used in the bombs that exploded at the Erawan Shrine and the Sathorn pier.

The arrest was made after about 100 police and troops surrouned the apartment at at 1:30 pm.

Among things found were 0.5 cm diametre ball bearing similar to those found at the bomb sites at Ratchaprasong Intersection and Sathorn pier. The Ratchaprason attack happened on August 17.

Police and troops surrounded the apartment building on Soi Chuamsamphan 11 for about two hours before making the raid.

Several senior police officers joined the raid, including Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol Lt Gen Sriwarah Rangsitpramkul and Crime Suppression Division Commander Maj Gen Akkaradej Pimolsri.

The suspect was renting rooms No 412 and 414 on the fourth floor of the apartment, a police source said.

The explosion at the Erawan Shrine on August 17 killed 20 victims, mostly foreign tourists. I also injured more than 100 others.

A man in yellow shirt was seen leaving a backpack under bench in the shrine compound shortly before the bomb went off.

Feeds from security cameras led to facial sketch of a foreigner who appeared like an Arab. A police source said the arrested Turkish looks resemble to the facial sketch of the bomber.

Sriwarah said the suspect rented about three to four rooms and police were checking the rooms.

Sriwarah confirmed that police found some materials in the suspect’s rooms that were similar to those used in the two bombs.

Sriwarah added that the suspect had started renting his room in July.

 

Erawan bomber 2

Erawan bomber 3

Police has scheduled a press conference for 6pm.

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