Iranian Bomb Gang Defused in Bangkok
Malaysia arrested on Wednesday a member of an Iranian bomb-making gang who allegedly plotted to assassinate Israeli diplomats in Thailand.
The arrest came one day after the suspect fled Bangkok, where the gang had rented a house that exploded in a bomb-making accident. Another Iranian suspect blew off his own legs with his own grenade while attempting to flee.
Thailand is still searching for an Iranian women named Rohani Leila. She allegedly rented the house where the four suspects stayed, a few blocks from Iran’s government-run Cultural Center in an upscale Bangkok neighborhood where many Thai Muslims live.
The man arrested in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, allegedly used an Iranian passport, numbered M20305701, which identified him as Masoud Sedaghatzadeh. He was born in Tehran on February 12, 1981, as the son of Abbas Sedaghatzadeh, according to a published scan of the document.
He was caught trying to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Tehran on Wednesday after changing a previous booking scheduled for February 25 on that same route, Thailand’s Nation newspaper reported. Sedaghatzadeh arrived in Malaysia on Tuesday evening, hours after the alleged bomb-making gang’s plot unraveled during a bizarre and bloody afternoon on Bangkok’s crowded streets.
Thai police, meanwhile, hoped to question another Iranian man, Saeid Moradi, who is still recovering in a Bangkok hospital after losing both of his legs when his explosive device bounced back at him in the street on Tuesday.
A third Iranian man, Mohammad Hazaei, was arrested at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi international airport on Tuesday during his failed attempt to also board a flight south to Malaysia.
Israel’s Ambassador to Thailand, Itzhak Shoham, told journalists the bomb-making evidence discovered in the rented house included magnets, similar to ones recently used in so-called “magnet bombs” in New Delhi, India and Tbilisi, Georgia on Monday.
In each of those attacks, a bomb equipped with a magnet was stuck onto an Israeli Embassy vehicle to be detonated. The explosion in New Delhi injured an Israeli diplomat’s wife and driver in her car. The device in Georgia was discovered and defused while attached to a vehicle.
Israel blamed Iran for the attacks in India, Georgia and Thailand, but Tehran denied the charges.