Law-enforcement authorities sought to reassure tourists that Pattaya was safe following revelations that Syrians connected to the Islamic State group had entered Thailand intent on attacking the interests of Russians and their allies.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Surachet Hakparn, commander of the Tourist Police Division, dispatched 100 tourist, marine, Special Branch, and municipal police, soldiers and volunteers to patrol Pattaya’s tourist areas Dec. 6.
Law enforcement officials toured Walking Street in South Pattaya to assure tourists they were safe, with some officers even holding lighted signs to publicize their point.
He said there have been many things happening around the world and we never know what may come to Thailand one day.
The operation came after a Royal Thai Police officer leaked a secret Special Branch memo warning provincial police authorities that the Russian intelligence service had tracked 10 Syrians with links to the terrorist organization to Thailand between Oct. 15-31.
The Syrians allegedly spread out across the country to attack the interests of Russians, who are waging war against the IS group in Syria, and others engaged in military operations against the Islamic State group.
Two agents were said to have gone to Pattaya and rumors suggested they could stage a violent attack on Walking Street or in the Russian stronghold of Najomtien Sub-district.
Surachet said officers would target Walking Street and other areas where tourists congregate, telling visitors and locals to rest assured that police were working hard and performing strict inspections to prevent weapons or any other materials from reaching the area.
In the days following, Thailand’s Interpol director and national police downplayed the threat, saying they had no information of a credible threat to the kingdom and that it was uncertain if the Syrians reported in the Russian alert had, in fact, entered the country.