Six men arrested in Northeast Malaysia last month on suspicion of possessing bomb-making materials were involved in a bomb-plot targeting Thailand’s insurgency-wracked Deep South, Thai security officials said Thursday.
Three of the six who were arrested on Jan. 15 in Pasir Mas in Kelantan state – just across the border from the Deep South – were Thai citizens who included a member of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), one of the region’s rebel groups, two Thai security officials told BenarNews on condition of anonymity.
But none were linked to the Islamic State as originally suspected by authorities in Kelantan, a Malaysian police source told BenarNews separately.
“We believe they were planning a plot to attack targets in Thailand’s Deep South. Malaysia caught them with bomb-making materials,” one Thai official told BenarNews, citing Malaysian police reports about materials that were seized from the suspects and information gathered by Thai intelligence.
The suspected BRN fighter is a leader of the armed separatist group based in Yala, one of the provinces in Thailand’s predominantly Muslim and Malay-speaking southern border region, the source said, citing a file of information compiled on the man.
“The man is Uzman Jeh-umong, 40 years of age. He has a record being the leading militant under the cell of Deng Aweji,” said the official, referring to a BRN commander in Yala.
Full story: BenarNews
Pimuk Rakkanam and Anis Natasha
Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur
Copyright ©2017, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.