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Terrorism in Thailand: the Swedish connection

Thai police led Atris Hussein, a 48 year-old Lebanese man with suspected links to a Hezbollah to search a commercial building in Samut Sakhon province, adjacent to the capital, where they discovered chemical substances which could be used in making explosives.

Boris Sullivan

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hailand terror suspect married to Swede, believed to have used passport to aid Hezbollah

Thai police led Atris Hussein, a 48 year-old Lebanese man with suspected links to a Hezbollah to search a commercial building in Samut Sakhon province, adjacent to the capital, where they discovered chemical substances which could be used in making explosives.

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Police chief Pol Gen Prewpan Dhamapong led about 200 metropolitan police bomb disposal and forensic experts to search two units of a commercial building in the Samut Sakhon provincial seat.

The search came after a Swedish-Lebanese terror suspect was detained on Friday. A large amount of fertiliser and ammonium nitrate solution were found hidden in the building.

Thailand terror suspect married to Swede, believed to have used passport to aid Hezbollah

Thailand terror suspect married to Swede, is believed to have used his Swedish passport to aid Hezbollah

According to the initial investigation, the building has been rented since Jan 1, 2011. The police will detain the owner of the building for further questioning for alleged involvement in possession of explosive mixtures without permission.

Atris Hussein, a 48 year-old Lebanese man with suspected links to a Hezbollah, a militant group in Lebanon, was apprehended for questioning on Friday at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport under the immigration law, which allows for a 60-day detention, while he was leaving Thailand on the same day as the US embassy in Bangkok issued a terrorist threat warning for the capital.

Iran is believed to have prepared a broad infrastructure for recruiting agents in Thailand by setting up schools, cultural and religious facilities for the benefit of the country’s Muslim population. These institutions have been disseminating anti-Israeli and anti-American propaganda materials.

Iran and Hezbollah may have now chosen Thailand as the target for a terror attack against Israel, possibly to avenge the recent killings and blasts in Iran, or to take revenge for the assassination of Hezbollah’s military chief Imad Mugniyah some four years ago

After questioning, Gen Prewpan said Mr Hussein, a Lebanese with a Swedish passport, will be deported to his country without being charged, as he had not committed any wrongdoing.

The suspect detained in Bangkok on suspicion of planning to blow up Israeli targets in Thailand has been identified as 47-year-old Hussein Atris, an Lebanese man holding a Swedish passport.

An examination of the passport revealed that Atris was born in southern Lebanon and married a Swedish woman in 1996. The marriage made him eligible for a Swedish passport, which he allegedly exploited for the benefit of Hezbollah’s terrorism apparatus.

According to reports by Swedish media, Atris previously owned a hair saloon in Gothenburg, before returning to Lebanon more than 10 years ago. Moreover, one of his relatives, Germany resident Muhammad Atris, was involved in the past in the Iranian assassination of four Kurdish opposition figures in 1992.

Meanwhile, Thai police were looking for Atris’ accomplice, who is believed to be in his 30s or 40s. Police in Bangkok published the suspect’s composite portrait, which bears great resemblance to Hezbollah operative Naim Haris. The latter’s photo was unusually published last year, by the Shin Bet, which at the time identified him as an operative in charge of recruiting Hezbollah agents worldwide.

 

 

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