Bangkok bomb suspect identifies mastermind

Bombing suspect Yusufu Mieraili, who the police say was arrested near the Cambodian border, being taken to a police station in Bangkok yesterday. He said he and four others reported to a man known as "Izaan".
Bombing suspect Yusufu Mieraili, who the police say was arrested near the Cambodian border, being taken to a police station in Bangkok yesterday. He said he and four others reported to a man known as "Izaan".PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK • One of the two men arrested over last month's deadly bombing in Bangkok has identified the mastermind of the plot, who he says left Thailand a day before the attack.

The suspect, Yusufu Mieraili, who the police say was arrested last week near the border with Cambodia, identified the mastermind of the Erawan Shrine blast by only the name "Izaan".

He said Izaan oversaw the operation by issuing commands over the WhatsApp chat application. According to a source, Mieraili testified that Izaan left Thailand via Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Aug 16 on his way to China, and then headed to Bangladesh.

Izaan commanded Mieraili, Adem Karadag - who was arrested at a flat in a Bangkok suburb with bomb-making materials; a man in a blue shirt who dropped a bomb at the Sathorn Pier; a man in a yellow shirt who left the bomb at the shrine; and an unidentified foreigner who lived in a room of an apartment in the Minburi district where bomb-making materials were found, Mieraili testified.

Mieraili said Izaan told him to buy bomb-making chemicals over the Internet to make the bombs. He reported to Izaan after the bombs were made.

He was then ordered to carry a backpack with a bomb, to leave it under a bench by the Phadung Krungkasem Canal near Hua Lamphong railway station.

Mieraili said the man in the yellow shirt came to switch his backpack with the one with the bomb. He said he did not meet the man in yellow in person.

Mieraili said the mastermind also instructed him to take a video of the bomb attack, but he dared not do it for fear of being arrested. He has admitted to a charge of possessing explosives, the police said yesterday, in the first confession over the unprecedented attack.

The new information came as the police said they had also issued two new arrest warrants.

National police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri told reporters that one of the new warrants is for a foreign man of unknown nationality called Abdullah Abdullahman.

The second is for an unnamed foreigner seen on closed-circuit television buying items from a department store close to where the two arrested suspects allegedly stayed.

THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2015, with the headline 'Bangkok bomb suspect identifies mastermind'. Print Edition | Subscribe