Bangkok bombing arrest: Bangkok Bombing Suspect
Published: August 29, 2015
Bangkok bombing arrest: Bangkok Bombing Suspect, Bangkok: Police have arrested a key suspect in the Bangkok shrine bombing in a seedy apartment building in a predominantly Muslim area of the Thai capital.
The 28-year-old man, believed to be Turkish, was found in possession of a stack of passports and bomb-making materials, including motorcycle ball bearings similar to those used in the bombing of the Erawan shrine on August 17.
He was late Saturday charged with being in possession of bomb making materials including pipes and fuses pending further investigation.
The suspect arrested in Bangkok on Saturday.
One of the seized passports carrying the man’s photograph had two expiry dates, indicating it was a crude forgery.
There was no date of issue and the expiry date was repeated twice.
The arrest has reinforced suspicion that an extreme right-wing Pan-Turkic group was behind the bombing that killed 20 people and injured more than 120 in the worst attack in Thailand in years.
The group known as Grey Wolves has been linked with Muslim Uighurs in western China.
Thailand’s deportation of 109 Uighurs in July infuriated Uighurs who regard themselves as being of Turkish origin.
However police insisted after the man’s arrest early Saturday afternoon it was still too early in the investigation to point the finger at any one group.
Police released photographs of the shabbily-dressed unshaven suspect with short hair sitting handcuffed in a corner of the room where he was arrested after more than 100 police surrounded the apartment building.
The name shown on the fake passport was Adem Karadag.
The man was taken on Saturday night to an army base for questioning.
Left, a police drawing of a key suspect who left a backpack filled with explosives and ball bearings at the shrine, and right, the man arrested on Saturday. Photo: Thai Police
Thailand has been under military rule since May last year.
Police said the man had been renting five rooms in the apartment block since July 21.
The Bangkok Post quoted a source saying local residents of the budget Poon Anand apartments in the Nong Chok district tipped off police about the man who could not speak Thai and appeared similar in appearance to a police drawing of a key suspect shown in grainy CCTV footage leaving a backpack stacked with explosives at the Erawan shrine.
But police said it was not yet clear whether arrested man was the suspect shown in the CCTV footage.
“We believe he is part of the same gang,” said national police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri, referring to the shrine bombing.
Police earlier said up to 10 people may have been involved in the bombing that shocked the nation that has endured a decade of political instability.
Another suspect kicked a similar bomb into a Bangkok canal 25 minutes after the shrine bombing.
That bomb exploded the next day but no-one was injured.
No-one has claimed responsibility for the bombings.
Bangkok-based security analyst Anthony Davis said last week the Grey Wolves were the most likely group to be behind the bombing but did not rule out other possibilities.
The group has close links with Turkish organised criminals who are know to have a presence in Bangkok.
Grey Wolves’ operatives were at the forefront of an attack on the Thai consulate in Istanbul in July.
Until Saturday’s breakthrough Thai authorities had been criticised for making contradicting and confusing statements about the bombing investigation.
Officials initially said the bombings were not likely to be the work of international terrorists in an attempt to allay the fears of tourists.
They instead suggested the attack may be linked to the country’s tumultuous political feuds.
Tourism accounts of more than 10 per cent of Thailand’s faltering economy.
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