The alleged mastermind behind the deadly bomb blast at Bangkok’s Erawan shrine mid-August has reportedly left for China from Bangladesh at the end of last month.
The suspected Chinese national knows as “Izaan” or “Ishan” reportedly left Thailand on a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight one day before the bombing and flew to Dhaka. He allegedly stayed in Bangladesh for two weeks until August 30, flying to Beijing on a Jet Airways flight a day after the first bomb suspect was arrested in Bangkok.
Bangladeshi police have been quoted as saying that the name on the passport the suspect was using when he left for Beijing was Abudustar Abdulrahman. His nationality has not officially been confirmed yet but it’s believed he is a Chinese national, possibly also from the western province of Xinjiang which is home to a Turkic-speaking Muslim ethnic group knows as Uighurs.
If the reports prove to be true Thailand would face the difficult task of seeking the suspect’s extradition from China – a process that would likely be complicated by the thin evidence against the suspect which is based exclusively on information provided by Yusufu Mieraili, another suspect arrested earlier this month at the Thai-Cambodian border, who admitted to having assembled the bomb.
All but two of 14 suspects implicated in the bomb attack so far are foreign nationals. Four were found to be Turkish nationals, another two Chinese. The nationalities of the other suspects has not been verified yet.
UPDATE (12 September) – An arrest warrant on “charges of collaborating to possess arms and explosives” has now been issued for the suspect, the Bangkok Post reports.
There is no indication yet however that he is really the ultimate mastermind behind the bombings, or perhaps just a lower layer in a complicated hierarchical structure (or even just another hired member of a loosely organized “terror network”?)
The Bangkok Post also explains the confusion regarding the name that appears in his Chinese passport; apparently it can be spelled both Abudureheman Abudusataer and Abu Dustar Abdulrahman.
According to the travel document (which appears to be authentic), the 27-year-old is from China’s western Xinjiang province. He is said to have entered Thailand sometime in June and left for Bangladesh one day before the Erawan shrine bomb attack. He is now said to be hiding in China.