Ultra-nationalist Turkish terrorist group key suspect in Bangkok bombing

Ultra-nationalist Turkish terrorist group key suspect in Bangkok bombing – 

The Telegraph – The arrest of a reported Turkish citizen with bomb-making material by Bangkok police has put the spotlight on the Grey Wolves, a pan-Turkic terror group with cause for enmity of Thais

The Grey Wolves, an ultra-nationalist Turkish terrorist group, have emerged as key suspects in the Bangkok shrine bombing after the arrest of a reported Turkish national in the Thai capital.

The extremist faction may have committed the worst terrorist atrocity in Bangkok’s history in retaliation for Thailand’s recent controversial deportation of more than 100 Uighurs, ethnic Turkic Muslims, to China.

No group has claimed responsibility for the bomb that that tore through worshippers at the Erawan shrine, killing six Thais and 14 ethnic Chinese Asian visitors.

But in the most significant breakthrough since the August 17 bombing, Thai police have arrested a man carrying a passport, possibly falsified, of Adem Karadag, a 28-year-old Turk.

The man was seized with bomb making material – including the sort of ball-bearings packed around explosives in the device – in a police raid on an apartment near a university popular with foreign students on the outskirts of Bangkok.

His reported citizenship has focussed attention on a possible radical Turkish connection to the bombing.

As The Telegraph reported, Thai police have been investigating the possible role of Turkish visitors to the kingdom as they searched for a suspect matching the composite sketch drawn from surveillance video footage of a man who left a bulky back-pack at the bomb site a few minutes before the blast.

The Grey Wolves have figured as possible suspects because of pan-Turkish anger at Thailand’s deportation of 109 Uighurs to China.

That could make Thais and Chinese prime targets for the group. And the bombing target was a Hindu shrine in the centre of Bangkok that is extremely popular with Buddhist Thais and ethnic Chinese visitors to the city.

Anthony Davis, a respected Bangkok-based security analyst with IHS-Jane’s, first made public the argument that the most likely perpetrators were the Grey Wolves.

He noted that the radical faction took part in attacks on the Thai consulate in Istanbul in retaliation for the Bangkok military government’s deportation of Uighurs, despite widespread criticism by human rights groups that they faced persecution in China.

The Uighur men were separated by the Thais from their wives and children who were sent to Turkey, in a move that infuriated their supporters.

The atrocity does not bear the previous hallmarks of a domestic faction while no international terror group has claimed responsibility, as is the modus operandi of al-Qaeda and Islamic State factions.

The Grey Wolves are a Turkish ultra-nationalist organisation established in the 1960s. Their alleged death squads murdered left-wing and liberal activists and intellectuals as well as staging the attempt on Pope John Paul II’s life in 1981.

The radical Pan-Turkic organisation extended operations in the early 1990s into post-Soviet states with Turkic and Muslim populations, including the Nagorno-Karabakh War in Azerbaijan and the Chechen conflicts.

The group has close ties to Turkish crime mafia gangs that operate in Bangkok and could have provided logistical support for operations in the Thai capital.

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