Bangkok blast suspect travelled to Bangladesh: Police

A foreign suspect in the Aug 17 Bangkok bombing, identified as Yusufu Mieraili (in yellow), is seen during a re-enactment with police officers near the Erawan shrine (not pictured) in Bangkok on Sept 9, 2015.
A foreign suspect in the Aug 17 Bangkok bombing, identified as Yusufu Mieraili (in yellow), is seen during a re-enactment with police officers near the Erawan shrine (not pictured) in Bangkok on Sept 9, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

DHAKA (AFP) - A key suspect wanted over the bombing of a Bangkok shrine that left 20 people dead flew to Dhaka a day before the blast before travelling on to China, Bangladesh police said on Thursday (Sept 10).

"We got a message from Thai police that Bangkok blast suspect Abudureheman Abdusataer, also known as Izan, came to Bangladesh. He was travelling on a Chinese passport," national police spokesman Nazrul Islam told AFP.

"We verified the message and found that he came to Dhaka on the Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight No. BG0089 and flew out to Beijing on Aug 30 on a Jet Airways flight," he said.

Police refused to give further details about where the man stayed in the capital after arriving on August 16 and who he met with during his two-week stay.

Thai local media reports have focused in recent days on a suspected bomb mastermind known as "Izan" or "Ishan", saying he commissioned and guided the attack but left the country a day before it was carried out.

Thai police confirmed Thursday that the man was a suspect but played down his status, however.

"Do not conclude Ishan was a big fish," Thai police chief Somyot Poompanmoung said. "You might be surprised." Mystery still surrounds the motive of the group accused of being behind the Aug 17 bombing that left 20 people dead in the heart of Bangkok and rocked Thailand's tourist industry.