The second suspect arrested in connection with the Erawan shrine bomb blast has now admitted to assembling the device used in the attack and identified the mastermind behind the attack as a Chinese national going by the name of “Izaan”. Izaan had allegedly hired and “commanded” the other suspects.
Yusufu Mieraili, a 25-year-old Chinese passport holder, was caught near the Thai-Cambodian border last Tuesday. According to an unnamed police source quoted by the Bangkok Post, the suspect told police now he had been
hired by his boss to buy chemicals from shops in Min Buri. After that he used them to make the bomb at his room in Bangkok’s Nong Chok district (…)
[after] he finished making the bomb on August 17, he travelled to Hua Lamphong railway station and handed the bomb to the yellow-shirted suspect who later planted planted the device at the Erawan shrine the same day (…)
Mr Mieraili admitted he had never met the yellow-shirted suspect before (…)
His confession is supported by images captured by surveillance cameras in Bangkok’s Minburi district and near the Erawan Shrine. But police suspect Mieraili’s involvement in the deadly attack go much further than just assembling the bomb:
Police think Mr Mieraili detonated the bomb before escaping in a taxi heading to the Pratunam area. However, the source did not elaborate on why they believe Mr Mieraili detonated the bomb and from where he did it.
Mieraili said Izaan commanded the operation by using WhatsApp chatting application.
According to a source, Mierali testified that Izaan left Thailand via Suvarnabhumi International Airport on August 16 to China and then headed to Bangladesh.
Izaan commanded Mieraili, Adem Karadag, who was arrested at a Nong Chok apartment, a man in blue shirt who dropped a bomb at the Sathorn pier, the man in yellow shirt who left the bomb at the shrine, and an unidentified foreigner who lived at a room at a Minburi apartment where bomb making materials were found …
Mieraili said Izaan told him to buy bomb-making chemicals via Internet to make bombs. He reported to Izaan after the bombs were mad.
He was then ordered to carry a backpack with a bomb to leave it under a bench (…) near Hua Lampong railway station. Mieraili said the man in yellow shirt came to switch his backpack with the one with the bomb. He said he did not meet the man in yellow in person.
The Bangkok Post, however, adds that Mieraili acknowledged he had “seen both the yellow- and blue-shirted men [the latter is accused of planting or disposing of an explosive device in a canal near the Sathorn pier in Bangkok] at the Pool Anant apartment in Nong Chok district, where [the first suspect was arrested and] a haul of bomb-making material was seized last week.” He claimed, however, he only knew them by face and didn’t know their names.
Little is known either about the alleged “mastermind” of the bomb attack except for that he’s going by the name of “Izaan”, is allegedly 28 years old and “from a wealthy background,” according to a police source quoted by Khaosod English. Izaan’s young age also calls into question Mieraili’s claim that he’s the ultimate “mastermind” behind the attack rather than perhaps just another layer in a complicated chain of command?
Arrest warrants were also issued Monday afternoon for two more suspects of unknown nationalities. One was identified as Abdullah Abdulrahman and his warrant was issued based on an identikit sketch. The second suspect’s name is not known and his warrant was issued based on CCTV footage.
The Nation further quotes an unnamed police source as saying that Mieraili was “close to the alleged mastermind of the attack, Abdullah Abdul Rahman,” suggesting that Abdullah – that’s the man in the identikit picture below – is actually “Izaan”.
UPDATE 1 – Based on unconfirmed media reports, the Bangkok Post quotes an unnamed “security source” as saying that Izaan’s name was actually Abudusatu “Ishan” Abudurahman.
The “28-year-old suspect of unknown nationality” has reportedly been identified as the “mastermind and financier” behind the bombings and is alleged to have fled to Bangladesh a day before the bomb attack.
UPDATE 2 – The nationality of the 28-year-old “mastermind” has apparently been confirmed as Chinese now. The Nation further identifies the suspect as Abu Dustar Abdulrahman (?) now, indicating that he may be an ethnic Uighur. Following reports that he has fled to Bangladesh, Thai police have informed Interpol to ask Bangladesh to help track down the suspect in the South Asian nation.
UPDATE 3 – The confusion regarding Izaan’s or Ishan’s proper name persists. Khaosod English now also refer to the suspect as Abudusatar Abudureh and quote a police spokesman as casting doubts on reports that the two are one and the same person:
Media reports have indicated Izaan is actually Abudusatar Abudureh, and images purporting to show him in immigration photos have been circulating online.
[The police spokesman] would not confirm the authenticity of either.
In related news, two unidentified Indian nationals reportedly frequently seen on CCTV talking with Yusufu Mieraili at the Maimuna Garden Home were detained Sunday night following a police raid on the apartment building on the eastern outskirts of Bangkok. The two Indian men reportedly stayed in a room next to Mieraili.