Thai police now believe that the suspected planner of last month’s deadly bombing in Bangkok flew to Bangladesh immediately before the blasts and then two weeks later traveled on to Beijing.
Police suspect that Abu Dustar Abulrahman, also known as Izan, gave orders to other conspirators to carry out the attack. Reuters reports that Bangladeshi officers checked the man’s immigration information and confirmed that he flew into Bangladesh on August 16th and then departed to Beijing on August 30th.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the August 17th attack on a shrine in Bangkok, which killed 14 foreign tourists, including seven from mainland China and Hong Kong. This is just the latest development for Thai authorities who have released a complex web of speculatory and contradictory information about the bombing.
The suspected bomber, captured on grainy CCTV footage abandoning a backpack at the Ratchaprasong intersection around 20 minutes before the explosion went off, has yet to be apprehended with police now expanding their search further south into Malaysia. The Bangkok Post reports Malaysian police said earlier today that they have arrested two suspects.
Thai police caught a suspect named Yusufu Mierili last week in Sa Kaeo province on the border of Cambodia carrying a piece of paper with instructions for making explosives. His fingerprints also matched samples taken from apparent bomb-making materials found during a raid on a Bangkok apartment over the weekend leading from another arrest of a foreigner.
Thai police said that Mierili, suspected to be Uighur from China’s western Xinjiang region, identified Izan as playing the key role in attack, assigning responsibility for other members of the group to carry out.
The fact that Izan is now suspected to be hiding out in China only furthers speculation that a Uighur group carried out the bombing in retaliation for Thailand’s deportation of Uighur asylum seekers back to China in July.