NSC chief affirms terror suspect detention made according to law


BANGKOK, Jan 21 – National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-Genl Pol Gen Wichean Potephosree affirmed that the detention of Atris Hussein, a Lebanese-Swedish terror suspect, was made according to law and evidence.

His comment was made after Mr Hussein, held on terrorism charges at the Bangkok Remand Prison, gave an interview to a Swedish newspaper on Thursday that he had been framed by the Mossad, or Isarel’s Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations. The suspect insisted he was innocent.

On Jan 13, the US Embassy in Bangkok published on its website warning of a possible terror incident on Thai soil. Over ten embassies in the country subsequently followed suit.

Mr Hussein was detained, also on Jan 13, while leaving the country at Suvarnabhumi Airport under immigration law after the Thai government was tipped off by US and Israeli officials about a planned terror attack in the Thai capital by Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group and political party supported by Israel and Syria.

Meanwhile, Assumption University’s ABAC Poll revealed 57.2 per cent of those surveyed said they did not think the Thai government was ready to manage terrorism, while 58 per cent viewed it was possible for terrorism to occur in Bangkok, as state officials did not strictly perform their duties, lacked experience, and could be influenced or paid off by wrongdoers.

The poll was conducted on how Bangkokians viewed terrorism in the capital, among 1,174 persons over 18 years old in Bangkok from Jan 18-20.

Seventy-three percent of respondents said they followed this news. Over half of those surveyed (or 55 per cent) answered that they believed the United States’ information on the terror alert rather than that of the Thai government.

About 63 per cent noted a special budget is needed for the Royal Police Bureau in order to patrol and monitor the situation, and create confidence among Thais and foreigners.

ABAC Poll’s researcher, Puntaree Issarangkul Na Ayudhaya, suggested the government consider a special law reform on budget and data analysis integration to quicken authorisation of the Thai prime minister for following and tackling national security issues.