Bangkok bomb tech­nique was ‘taught by for­eign­ers’


In­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve that the plot­ters be­hind the Erawan Shrine and Sathorn pier blasts might have re­lied on a for­eign bomb-mak­ing tech­nique, an in­formed source said.

“Such a tech­nique did not ex­ist in Thai­land be­fore. And our in­depth in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­veal that for­eign­ers of un­known na­tion­al­ity came to Thai­land in 2011 to pro­vide train­ing on such a tech­nique,” the source said.

The sus­pected bomber wanted in con­nec­tion with the bloody at­tack at the Erawan Shrine does not look Thai.

The shrine at­tack oc­curred on Mon­day night and the blood­less pier at­tack hap­pened on Tues­day af­ter­noon. The shrine blast killed 20 peo­ple and in­jured more than 100. The bomb at the pier ex­ploded in a canal.

Ac­cord­ing to the source, TNT was used for both pipe bombs.

“Ex­plo­sive pow­der was stuffed into steel pipes with a huge num­ber of ball bear­ings,” the source added.

The source said the det­o­na­tion of a TNT bomb could be de­layed for sev­eral days, if an elec­tric cir­cuit was in­volved. “This means the author­i­ties will have to go back at least four days when ex­am­in­ing se­cu­rity footage.” The source said the pier bomber clearly did not in­tend to cause any ca­su­al­ties as the bomb was placed in a canal di­rectly ad­ja­cent to the Chao Phraya River.

“That per­son must have known full well that the de­struc­tive power of the bomb would be re­duced when it is im­mersed in wa­ter,” the source said.

Po­lice have also con­sid­ered the pos­si­bil­ity that the pier blast might have been un­in­ten­tional, as the per­son who dis­carded the bomb in the wa­ter might have just wanted to get rid of the ex­plo­sives af­ter the at­tack at the shrine, the source said.

Se­cu­rity footage showed the per­son, who put the bag be­lieved to con­tain a bomb in the canal, did so not long af­ter the shrine at­tack.

Another source dis­closed that the sus­pected shrine bomber took a taxi to the Hua Lam­phong train sta­tion and then took a tuk­tuk to the shrine on Mon­day.

“Po­lice are try­ing to lo­cate the taxi driver. We have been in­formed that the taxi picked up the sus­pect from Yan­nawa area,” the source added.

The tuk-tuk driver gave po­lice the 20 baht the sus­pect used to pay the fare.

“The bank note has been sub­mit­ted to the sci­en­tific crime de­tec­tion unit for fin­ger­print and DNA anal­y­sis. It could pro­vide cru­cial ev­i­dence to nail down the sus­pect,” the source added. Po­lice spokesman Lt. Gen. Prawut Tha­vorn­siri said a sketch of the sus­pect had been given to In­ter­pol so that 190 other coun­tries could help with the search for the sus­pect.

He con­firmed that there had been much progress in the case. “But I can’t dis­close de­tails.”

The Na­tional Coun­cil for Peace and Or­der shared his stance.

“Of­fi­cials are work­ing to bring the cul­prits to jus­tice. But at this point, we can’t dis­close de­tails, as that may af­fect the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions,” NCPO spokesman Winthai Su­vari said yesterday in a na­tion­ally tele­vised state­ment.

He said 56 of the shrine-blast vic­tims re­mained hos­pi­tal­ized.

In a re­lated de­vel­op­ment, of­fi­cials from the Chi­nese em­bassy in Bangkok ac­com­pa­nied the rel­a­tives of four Chi­nese tourists killed at the shrine to the In­sti­tute of Foren­sic Medicine yesterday.

The rel­a­tives se­cured the bod­ies ahead of the fu­neral rites be­ing held.

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