Thai TV uses fake suicide vest image for Bangkok bombing

Thailand’s Nation TV airs image of fake suicide vest taken from US agency blog claiming to belong Bangkok bombing suspect

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Aug 30, 2015

Thailand’s Nation TV on Saturday aired an image of a suicide vest from US Transport Security Administration (TSA) allegedly belonging to the accused Bangkok Erawan Shrine bomber.

TSA published the image of the fake suicide vest on its official blog on March 8, 2013. According to the blog, TSA officer confiscated the fake suicide vest after a checked bag drew the attention of officers.  

However, Nation TV aired the image of the fake suicide vest as though it was found during the raiding of the alleged suspect’s apartment.

Nevertheless, the Thai Police wrote on their official Twitter account that the footage circulating online media that shows the vest containing is not true. 

"These images were not involved in the bombing, and are not from the Thai government," the tweet said.

"Thai Police urge people not to use these images, since it may cause anxiety among its citizens and the community."

On Saturday Thai police announced a foreigner who matched the description of a man caught on CCTV as the suspect behind the Bangkok blast was arrested.

The Bangkok blast occurred on Aug. 17 and killed 20 people. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

“We found a man who is now arrested by police for possessing explosive items. He is a foreigner, 28-years old. He was found with materials that can be used to assemble explosives,” said the National Police Spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri during a press conference.

“We found that he is connected to both of the Bangkok blasts [on Aug. 17 and 18], both at Rajaprasong and Sathorn. We believe the perpetrators are the same group,” he added.

Thavornsiri also showed images of the raid, including a pile of passports and equipment that can be used to make bombs.

Police also showed an image of a Turkish passport suspected to be belonging to the accused but made it clear that the passport was fake.

“The passport you see is fake,” said Prawut. “We don’t know if he is Turkish or not.”

Many media outlets including Thai implied that the bombing might have been carried out by Uighur Muslims, who Thailand had deported to China last month.

Over 100 Turkic-speaking Uighur refugees were deported from Thailand back to China.

Thai police also added without elaborating that the attack was a “personal grudge…not international terrorism.”

TRT World on Saturday spoke with an official from the Turkish Foreign Ministry. The government official told TRT World that Turkish officials called on the Thai government for information in relation to the issue but has not received a response to their call.

The government official also added that Turkey has asked the Interpol to provide information.

TRTWorld and agencies