A press conference with the prime bombing suspect’s lawyer now seems to confirm that Bilal Mohammad, also known as Adem Karadag or Bilal Turk, is not a Turkish national as he previously claimed, but an Uighur Muslim from China.
His client, the lawyer told the media, also claims he was hired to plant the bomb at the Erawan Shrine in mid-August by a foreign man identified only as Abdullah Abdulrahman.
Mr. Mohammad claims that he was offered a free passage to Turkey in return for planting the bomb but insists he knows neither the motive behind the deadly attack nor why the shrine was targeted. 20 people were killed in the blast, including six Chinese nationals and several other Asian tourists.
According to a report by the Bangkok Post, Mr. Mohammad claims
he travelled from China, though he refused to reveal his hometown for fear that Chinese authorities could intimidate his friends and relatives there, [his lawyer] said.
He crossed into Thailand in the hope of traveling onwards to Malaysia with a final destination of Turkey, the lawyer said. Mr Mohammad’s (Karadag) family members and relatives are all in Turkey.
The lawyer said he still did not know the motive behind the blast. However, his client told him that the man he identifies as Mr Abdullah ordered him on Aug 16 to plant the bomb-laden rucksack at the shrine.
His client had asked Mr Abdullah why the shrine was the intended target, but did not get a reply.
Mr Abdullah had told his client that if the mission was completed, he would contact people in Malaysia to seek his passage to Turkey, [the lawyer] said. Mr Karadag insisted that among the suspects, he only knows Mr Abdullah.