Abhisit urges discretion over terror reports

Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday called on the government to exercise more discretion when handling intelligence reports about terrorist threats.

He said issuing a warning to the people was one thing but publicising intelligence reports was another. He was referring to remarks by government leaders about intelligence reports that the US consulate in Chiang Mai would be attacked.

"It is a sensitive issue. There was no word or warning from the United States but both [the prime minister and her deputy] publicly discussed it," he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said on Tuesday he had received information that al-Qaeda and Salafist terrorists had planned to launch an attack on the US consulate in the first half of this month.

National Security Council secretary-general Paradorn Pattanathabutr and air force chief Prachin Jantong yesterday said the attack report had substance.

Mr Chalerm said the assault might have been planned for this month when the Cobra Gold joint military exercise involving troops from the US is conducted.

ACM Prachin said he only obtained initial reports of the plan. Meanwhile, national police chief Adul Saengsingkaew said police were reviewing intelligence information supplied by the Special Branch Bureau.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Manasvi Srisodapol said security authorities worked with the US government on the matter.

Vilaiwan Nadvilai, director of Suvarnabhumi airport, said security at all airports has been maintained at the highest level since the Sukhumvit explosions on Feb 14 last year.

She said the Airports of Thailand's job is to guard the terminals.

The task of screening potential terrorist suspects belongs to the immigration authorities.

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