Thai policemen escorting Bangkok blast suspect (center) in Thailand.
A visitor makes an offering for Phra Phrom, the Thai interpretation of the Hindu god Brahma at the Erawan Shrine, the scene of the Aug. 17 bombing, Bangkok, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. Thai authorities arrested a man they believe is part of a group responsible for a deadly bombing at a shrine in central Bangkok two weeks ago, the prime minister announced Tuesday.
Police investigating last month’s Bangkok bombing said Wednesday that the fingerprints of a foreign man arrested at the Thai-Cambodia border match those found on a bottle of bomb-making material, and that they were seeking to arrest a Turkish man linked to the blast.
The new suspect, identified as Emrah Davutoglu, is the husband of a Thai woman for whom an arrest warrant has already been issued because she had rented an apartment where bomb-making materials were found this past weekend. The woman professes innocence and says she is in Turkey. Of the eight people for whom arrest warrants have now been issued, at least two others are also believed to be Turkish.
Deputy National Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda made the assertion when asked by reporters whether the man arrested Tuesday — whose name and nationality have not been released — had confessed to involvement in the Aug. 17 bombing at Erawan Shrine that killed 20 people and wounded more than 120.
Chakthip said that while the suspect denied being involved in the attack, “he admits that he was there in the area when it happened.”
A Thai court has issued an arrest warrant for a Turkish man who is the husband of a Thai suspect already being sought in connection with Bangkok’s dead bombing.
National police chief Prawut Thavornsiri identified the man as Emrah Davutoglu. He is facing charges of conspiracy to possess unauthorized war materials.
In the first apartment, raided Saturday in the Bangkok neighborhood of Nong Chok, police arrested a suspect they described as a foreign man and seized bomb-making equipment that included detonators, ball bearings and a metal pipe believed to be a bomb casing. The suspect arrested Saturday had a Turkish passport, though Thai authorities say it was fake. At his apartment, they seized more than 200 passports, an unknown number of which appeared to be Turkish and possibly fake.
They also took fingerprints from the apartment, which turned out to match those of the suspect arrested Tuesday at the border with Cambodia, Prawut said.
“We can confirm that the man’s fingerprints match with those found on a bottle that contains a bombing substance,” Prawut said, and then added, “He could be the one who brought the bomb out of this apartment or he could have brought the bomb to the crime scene.”
Prawut said that further testing, including DNA tests, were being conducted to bolster that theory.
Both suspects who have been arrested are being interrogated by the military and have not yet been formally charged.
National police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri said Wednesday that the man arrested at the border on Tuesday “is important and is related to or conspired with people” behind the bombing that killed 20 people and wounded more than 120.
The blast at the Erawan Shrine was unprecedented in the Thai capital, where smaller bombs have been employed in domestic political violence over the past decade, but not in an effort to cause large-scale casualties.