Thai FM: Two Hezbollah suspects nabbed, third on the run


BANGKOK, April 18 – Two suspected members of the Hezbollah political movement were arrested in Thailand and the third remained at large, caretaker Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said today.

Mr Surapong said Thai authorities had mounted a manhunt for the other suspect, at large in Thailand, quoting an official report as saying that the group intended to buy components and make explosive devices in Thailand to be sent to a third country.

Col Banpote Poolpian, spokesman of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), said the two suspects were arrested at a hotel on Soi Nana off Sukhumvit Road, not at Suvarnabhumi airport as earlier reported.

Their native country was Lebanon but they carried passports of different countries – France and the Philippines, he said, adding that Thai authorities were checking if they really belonged to the Hezbollah movement.

They could be charged with breaching the Immigration Act and eventually deported from the kingdom, he said.

“The Hezbollah movement does not aim at attacking entertainment, tourism or economic locations. Israel and the US have defined the group as international terrorist network while it is recognised as a political party in Lebanon,” he explained.

Police earlier identified the two suspects as Youssef Ayad and Daoud Farhad. Still at large is the third suspect, identified as Bilal Bahsoun.