Hezbollah targets Thailand?

Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a warning to Israelis to stay away from Bangkok, citing intelligence indicating that Hezbollah militants could be preparing an attack in Thailand ahead of the Feb. 12 fourth anniversary of the assassination of the Shi’ite movement’s senior commander Imad Mughniyeh. Israel reportedly informed Thai authorities on Dec. 22 that three Hezbollah operatives had entered Thailand in order to launch an attack on Israeli tourists. On Jan. 13, Thai authorities arrested Idris Hussein (also rendered Hussein Atris), a dual Lebanese-Swiss citizen, at Bangkok airport a few minutes before he was due to board a flight out of the country. Hussein was charged with possession of ammonium nitrate and other controlled chemical substances after a search of a building he had rented in Samut Songkhram, southwest of Bangkok. A manhunt is said to be underway for at least one other suspect. Following Hussein’s arrest, Israel, the US and nine other countries issued travel advisories warning against visiting Bangkok. US ambassador Kristie Kenney said on Twitter the threat is “Bangkok specific” and “credible.” (Bloomberg, Bangkok Post, Jan. 17; JTA, Ha’aretz, Jan. 15)