Memo warns of IS militants in Thailand to target Russians

(From agencies)

Thailand has stepped up security after a warning from Russia’s state security agency that 10 Syrians linked to Islamic State (IS) have entered the country in October as tourists and are planning revenge attacks on Russians and their assets.

Pattaya is especially popular with Russian tourists

Pattaya is especially popular with Russian tourists

This was revealed by a leaked memo from a commander of Thailand’s Special Branch to police units.

Russia began air strikes against IS in Syria towards the end of September and the attacks have intensified after the downing of the Russian jet in Sinai desert blamed on the terror group.

Thailand is a popular tourist destination for Russians. As many as 1.5 million Russians visited Thailand in 2013.

The memo marked “urgent” and “confidential,” dated November 17 quotes Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) as saying that the 10 militants entered the country between October 15 and 31 and parted ways to hit different targets.

Four went to Pattaya, two to Phuket, two to Bangkok and the other two to an unknown location.

Pattaya and Phuket are seaside resorts popular with foreign tourists, and Pattaya is especially popular with Russians.

“The objectives of these people are to cause harm to Russia’s assets or those of its allies in Thailand,” said the memo.

National police deputy spokesman Col. Songpol Wattanachai confirmed the authenticity of a leaked police memo mentioning the intelligence warning.

While IS recruits volunteers from Malaysia and Indonesia, the terror group is not active in Thailand.

The bombs that rocked the Thai capital in August is linked to militants from China’s Muslim Uighur minority.

Categories: Asia Times News & Features, Southeast Asia

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