Smoke and mirrors: Who are Thailand’s men in black?By Bangkok Pundit Sep 29, 2010 9:00AM UTC
A group of black-clad men believed to be plotting an assassination against the prime minister have been identified by police while a team of officers have been tailing the perpetrators closely to prevent possible attacks.
The latest report was on the suspect who had undergone weapon training in Cambodia and is now hiding in Thailand. This man is reportedly very skilled; however, the police already received his identity and whereabouts and is taking a close surveillance.
Deputy PM’s Secretary-General Panithan Wattanayakorn confirmed Thursday police were keeping a close watch on a group of suspicious-looking men living at condominium near the prime minister’s house.
Panithan said the men took turn to enter the condominium building but police have taken no action so far because they have done noting wrong yet.
Panithan said the prime minister’s residence has been watched by police for several months as part of security measures.
Police did not check the condominium because it is a private property.
BP: There is a state of emergency in place and they can’t detain these people? Why detain them when you can put out nonsense like this, per The Nation:
Meanwhile, Deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban, suggested that these men might be linked to the “men in black” behind the April 10 clashes.
Police are also keeping a close eye on a weapons expert from Cambodia, who might instigate violence during the redshirt rally on Sunday.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Santhan Chayanont had previously claimed that a group of “men in black”, trained for combat in Cambodia, were staking out Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s residence from a condominium nearby. This has prompted the beefing up of security for the PM as well as 50 VIPs, as police monitor people coming in and out of highrises, he said.
Admitting that reports claim this group was comprised of “experts” reportedly preparing for something, he [Panitan] said whether or not they are successful would depend wholly on security measures taken. However, he wouldn’t say if there were any plans to relocate Abhisit.
Meanwhile, former deputy permanent secretary for Defence, Admiral Bannawit Kengrien said he too had heard about the socalled assassination plot and that a large number of Cambodian warriors of Vietnamese descent, who had undergone military training and were great snipers, had been brought in to do the job.
Meanwhile, emergency police chief Pol MajGeneral Thanapol Sonthes said reports about “men in black” plotting the assassination of VIPs had been filed since April, when the red shirts were rallying at the Rajprasong intersection. He added that all VIPs, especially the premier, were being provided with maximum security. He said a “trainer” from Cambodia was keeping a low profile in Thailand but the police knew his name and whereabouts, and were keeping an eye on him.
Voranai in the Bangkok Post:
Sept 19 was coming up. The emergency decree was due for an extension. Red shirts planned to rally. Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thuagsuban spoke of plots to assassinate the prime minister and other leading political figures. Critics were sceptical. But the deputy PM reassured everyone: something evil is afoot.
A suspicious man in black was arrested. He had been staking out a condominium near the prime minister’s residence. A culprit in the assassination plan, it was widely reported.
But it turned out the man in black was one of the prime minister’s security guards. Ain’t that a peach? Do these sort of things only happen in Thailand?
BP: Yes, there were really men in black on April 10 – although one of the authors of the Asia Times excellent piece on the men in black noted in a public forum at the FCCT a few months back that those armed persons he met in Lumpini Park supporting the red shirts were not actually wearing black so it is more of a term to describe armed persons who are against the Abhisit government than those actually wearing some black uniform – and perhaps there are people trying to kill Abhisit, but how can you take the authorities seriously when they make the above statements?* What is really the story?
*You even have a Cambodian and Vietnamese angle thrown in to show how “evil” they are. Thanong, of course, was on cue the other day on twitter purporting this unsubstantiated myth of foreign fighters:
A foreign army in Lumpini Park was also routed during the very early hours of May 19. That’s why a foreign leader greatly pissed off.