Thai Official: Iranians Targeted Israelis

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Iranian nationals involved in Tuesday's bombings in Bangkok were attempting to assassinate Israeli diplomats, one Thai official acknowledged.

"These three Iranian men are an assassination team and their targets were Israeli diplomats, including the ambassador," a senior Thai intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Agence-France Presse.

"Their plan was to attach bombs to diplomats' cars," he said.

CBN News Mideast Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell talked more about Tuesday's attack, on the CBN News Channel Morning News, Feb. 15.

Police arrested a second Iranian at Bangkok's airport as he attempted to board a plane to Kuala Lumpur Tuesday.

Mohammad Hazai, 42, identified on surveillance cameras as one of three men renting a house in central Bangkok, is in custody. Police found C-4 plastic explosives in the rental house.

The second man in custody, Saeid Morati, 28, suffered a severed leg when the grenade he threw at police bounced back and exploded near him. Doctors were unable to save his other leg, leaving him a double amputee.

Police are still searching for a third accomplice, who may have fled to Malaysia.

Link to New Delhi Bombings

Meanwhile, Thai investigators found that the same magnetic sheets used in the New Delhi bombings were also used in Bangkok.

"The individual was in possession of the same magnets, and we are currently examining the source of the magnet," Reuters quoted Thai National Security Council Secretary Wichian Podphosri as saying.

Tuesday, Israel dispatched teams of forensic specialists to investigate the attacks, which injured five people in New Delhi, including Tal Yehoshua Koren, the wife of the Defense Ministry attaché.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the international community to speak out against the Iranian-sponsored attacks targeting "innocent diplomats around the world."

"Iran is undermining the stability of the world. It is attacking innocent diplomats around the world. The countries of the world must condemn these acts and draw a red line against Iranian aggression," Netanyahu warned at a special session of the Knesset honoring visiting Croation President Ivo Josipovic on Wednesday.

"This aggression, if not stopped, will eventually spread," he said.

Iran Blames 'Zionists'

Iran, meanwhile, claimed Israel was targeting its own diplomats in Bangkok to "harm the friendly and historic relations between Iran and Thailand."

"The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that elements of the Zionist regime are responsible for this crime and is prepared to help and cooperate with the Thai government to shed all light on these events," AFP quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast.

Two weeks ago, Thai police arrested a man affiliated with Hezbollah, who led them to a warehouse containing hundreds of boxes of bomb-making materials.

Thai officials said they haven't found a connection between Tuesday's bombings and this investigation.

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