Written by Andrea Martin. Media by Max Gensler
Thai police are now confirming that they are seeking two new suspects in the recent bombing that took place in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Bangkok bombing took place on Aug. 17 at the Erawan Shrine. It killed 20 people, mostly consisting of foreigners. The suspect bombing list now stands at 10 after new information was gathered this weekend [Sept. 5 & 6]. So far, the widening investigation has yielded two arrests, as one man was arrested in a suburb of Bangkok who reportedly possessed hundreds of passports. One passport labeled him as Turkish, though it has yet to be confirmed what nationality the man really is. On Thailand’s eastern border a second man was arrested, he also appeared to have links to Turkey and Uighurs.
The tension between Turkey and Uighurs, as explained by Anthony Davis, may have something to do with Thailand’s deportation of over 100 Uighurs to China in July, provoking a Turkish nationalist attack as a means of retaliation. Other evidence supporting this theory comes from the recent protestors’ attack on a Thai consulate in Istanbul, forcing a temporary closure.
The Thai government has been hesitant to label the bombing as a terrorist attack, and has specifically ordered officials to avoid “mentioning any connection to Uighurs in this incident as it could create problems and have an international impact.” The means of the attack, however, creates a blurred line between whether the attack was more personal or on the basis of terrorism, which would suggest rage at certain political grievances.
The work the Thai government has been doing has now been able to increase awareness about the bombing and new suspects, specifically an unidentified man and a Thai woman. Pictures of the woman, Wanna Suansun, surfaced on Aug. 31, whom is believed to be in Turkey. Her apartment held bomb-making materials after it was raided in a neighborhood near Bangkok. The apartment was not rented under her name. Thai police also raided her house in the Thai province of Phang Nga, but failed to find her. In questioning her relatives, it had be discovered that Suansun had been gone for three months, most likely residing in Turkey with her husband since he is from that country. No evidence could be found to support that claim.
As for the new male suspect, little to no information has been released by the police regarding his nationality, name and motive. The police have been working with multiple embassies and interpreters to try and gather more information. The sketch released by police shows him to have short brown hair and a light beard and mustache. It is suspected that he lived in the apart that was rented by Suansun.