Thai media is reporting that members of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) were among a surveillance group that entered Thailand last year to monitor the U.S. consulate in preparation for a potential terrorist attack. According the article in the Bangkok Post, the group also included members of a Salafist “brigade” as well as Al Qaeda terrorists:
13 Feb 2013 The government has ordered that security be beefed up for the US consulate in Chiang Mai following intelligence reports of a potential terrorist attack. Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung says he has received information that al-Qaeda and Salafist terrorists had planned to launch a three-pronged attack on the US consulate in an operation codenamed ‘Billiard Ball’ in the first half of February. The terrorists, based in Algeria, would be equipped with small arms, grenade launchers and C-4 explosives provided by drug traders who are unhappy with the Chiang Mai consulate’s role in drug suppression in the region, he said. Mr Chalerm said latest intelligence reports revealed some members of the terrorist groups had now left Thailand. It would be difficult for the terrorists to carry out the attacks now that security has been tightened, he said. Mr Chalerm dismissed any links between these terrorists and insurgents in the far South. He said he ordered Pol Lt Gen Suthep Dejraksa, the Region 5 Provincial Police chief, to beef up security at the consulate from last Wednesday. This matter would not affect tourism in Chiang Mai and had nothing to do with the prime minister’s scheduled visit to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai from today until Friday, Mr Chalerm said. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday that she had been briefed on the intelligence reports about the threat and had ordered police to step up security at the consulate. She said the US embassy had not made any special security requests. Police armed with HK33 rifles from the provincial police headquarters are reportedly on 24-hour security duty at the consulate. A checkpoint has been set up in front of the consulate and no vehicles are allowed to park on the road in front of the consulate. The Cobra Gold joint military exercise, involving troops from several countries including the US, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand, is now being held in Chiang Mai. It began last Monday and last until next Thursday. A security source said that members of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), members of a Salafist brigade and al-Qaeda terrorists had sneaked into the country to monitor the US consulate last year.
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A post from last march reported that the charitable status of the Canadian branch of the WAMY had been revoked after a governmental investigation linked the organization to funding of Al-Qaeda. Read the rest here.
Muslim Brothers were instrumental in the founding of WAMY and the organization continues to enjoy close relations with the global Muslim Brotherhood. U.S. government agencies and officials have argued that WAMY has helped spread Islamic extremism around the world as well as sponsoring terrorism in places such as Bosnia, Israel, and India. Numerous previous posts have discussed WAMY’s activities throughout the world. Previous posts have discussed the organizations apparent recent financial difficulties.