Thai police search for two bomb-making suspects

BANGKOK — Police on Friday were hunting for two suspects in a bungled plot to bomb Israeli diplomats in Bangkok this week.

One of the suspects was identified as Nikkhahfard Javad, 52, who police described as a Middle Eastern man seen leaving a house in Bangkok early Tuesday hours before a bomb exploded there in an apparent accident.

A Thai court already has issued warrants for four Iranians — two of whom were detained in Bangkok on Tuesday and one who was arrested by Malaysian authorities in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

Saeid Moradi, 28, had his legs blown off by a bomb as he tried to elude Bangkok police. Mohammad Hazaei, 52, was arrested at Suvarnabhumi International Airport as he tried to board a plane bound for Malaysia.

Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, 31, was arrested in Kuala Lumpur.

The fourth Iranian was at large Friday — a woman identified as Rohani Leila, who is suspected of renting the house where the first bomb exploded Tuesday.

Thai authorities have said the Iranians were plotting to attack Israeli diplomats and have charged them with several bomb-making-related crimes. Mr. Moradi also is accused of trying to kill police and other persons in his attempt to flee.

Police said a sixth person also may be involved but were unable to provide details, except to announce that an unidentified foreign man was seen visiting the others in Bangkok at the rented house.

Thai media said police suspect Mr. Javad had been instructing the others how to make bombs that could be attached with magnets to the exterior of vehicles before an explosive accidentally detonated Tuesday and the plot collapsed.

Israel has blamed Iran for the bungled Bangkok plot and for two similar magnetic bomb attacks this week in India and Georgia. Four people were injured in New Delhi Monday when an Israeli diplomat’s car exploded, while police in Tblisi defused a bomb on an Israeli diplomat’s vehicle.

Iran has denied any involvement in the bomb attacks.

A photograph published Friday showed Mr. Javad as a stocky, graying, slightly balding man with a moustache and close-cropped beard arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Another photograph published Friday showed three Iranian men already in police custody enjoying themselves with Thai girls at the beach resort of Pattaya, 45 miles southeast of Bangkok.

Pattaya is internationally notorious because of its large population of inexpensive prostitutes. It has attracted sex tourists, foreign criminals and others who have exploited its lax ways for decades.

Police said the three men stayed in Pattaya from Feb. 8 to Feb. 13, and met three Thai women who agreed to accompany them for an extended time to local restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues.

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