'No credible threat' of ISIS attack in Thailand

BANGKOK • Thailand's Interpol director has said there was "no credible threat" of an attack by suspected members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), following a warning by the Russian intelligence service that 10 Syrians linked to ISIS had entered the country.

A document from Thai Special Branch police leaked to social media showed it had been warned by Russia's Federal Security Service that 10 Syrians linked to ISIS had entered Thailand between Oct 15 and Oct 31 to target Russian interests.

Confirmation last Friday that the document was real prompted Thailand to step up security around potential targets, including Pattaya and Phuket, home to large Russian communities. Officials have called for calm.

Thailand's Interpol director, Police Major-General Apichart Suribunya, said Interpol and Special Branch were both looking out for intelligence but that there was no credible threat of an attack in Thailand. "We get warnings like this many times. There is no critical intelligence of IS presence in Thailand," said Maj-Gen Apichart yesterday, using another name of ISIS.

Thailand said on Sunday it was looking for four Syrian nationals who had overstayed their visas, but did not suggest the men were a security threat. Police later cleared three of the four of any possible links to ISIS. They did not comment on the fourth man.

An official at the Russian Embassy in Bangkok was not immediately available for comment.

Russia began air strikes against ISIS in Syria at the end of September. An ISIS-linked group claimed it brought down a Russian airliner over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula in October, killing all 224 people on board.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2015, with the headline ''No credible threat' of ISIS attack in Thailand'. Print Edition | Subscribe