Was the Israeli Defence Minister the target of the Bangkok bombers?By Bangkok Pundit Feb 20, 2012 10:00AM UTC
The plot never got an opportunity to materialize – as outlined in the live blog post here and the round-up here. Initially, sources from the police and intelligence agencies stated that Israeli diplomats were the targets, but then as Reuters reports, the police chief went on the record:
Thai government and police officials have given conflicting views on the intentions of the Iranians, but Bangkok Police Chief Priewpan Damapong told Thai TV “it’s clear they wanted to attack foreigners, especially Israeli diplomats”.
“According to the information and the evidence we’ve got from the scene, it was the same (type of) bombs as in India and Georgia. There were bombs with magnets being used to attach them to a car,” he said.
However, this report in The Nation suggests the target may have been the Israeli Defence Minister:*
An academic on international security, Theeranan Nanthakhwang, said the three suspects were possibly preparing to target or kill Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak who was scheduled to visit Thailand yesterday, but cancelled the trip. Barak had planned to stay overnight and attend a musical event organised by the Israeli Embassy at CentralWorld. Theeranan said Barak was a potential target given his VIP status as an Israeli cabinet member.
BP: BP has read denials that Barak, who was in Singapore at the time the bombs went off , was also the target of a plot in Singapore, but can find no denials whether the Israelis or anyone else think Barak was a target in Bangkok. Then again, Barak is also a former PM and also a former Chief of General Staff (i.e. equivalent of Prayuth) with a special forces background and well given his high profile, he would be a target. The Israeli Ambassador just states “we can assume from the other experiences that we were the target”, which suggests only diplomats. Anyone see anything else to substantiate or repudiate the story that Barak was a target? Was he even meant to come to Bangkok? (he has since travelled to Tokyo).