Anti-monarchy figures overseas allegedly involved in plot to kill junta leader

The Thai police allege that suspects in a failed terrorist plot around the Bike for Dad event involve certain unnamed overseas anti-monarchy figures.     

On 27 November 2015, the Thai News Agency reported that Pol Maj Gen Chayapol Chatchaidej, Commander of the Counter Crime Planning Division of the Royal Thai Police, revealed that in addition to 2 suspects already in custody, 7 others were involved in a thwarted terrorist plot around the Bike for Dad event, a cycling rally to honour the King’s Birthday, which will take place nationwide on 11 December 2015, and are still at large.

On Wednesday, 25 November, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, Commissioner General of the Royal Thai Police, announced that three suspects had been detained by the military for allegedly attempting to stage a terrorist attack around the upcoming Bike for Dad cycling rally.

Rumour has it that the prime target of the foiled terrorist plot was Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister himself.

On Thursday, Deputy Police Commissioner General Sriwarah Rangsipramkul said the military had detained only two suspects not three. The two suspects currently detained are former Pol Sgt Maj Prathin C. and Nattapol N.

The police chief added that the suspects also face charges under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law, and the Computer Crime Act for contacting each other via the Line chat application to prepare the terrorist plot on the auspicious event for the King.

Yesterday, the Deputy Police Chief said that the suspects in the terrorist plot were previously involved in the 2014 Khon Kaen Model case.

The name ‘Khon Kaen Model’ was given to the case of 26 defendants, mostly elderly, from several provinces in the North East, accused of being hard-core red shirts who planned to rebel against the junta. The alleged operation would first be carried out in Khon Kaen, the second largest province in Isan and a stronghold of the red-shirt movement, and then in other provinces in the North and the North East.

The police also announced that the two suspects said during interrogation that certain anti-monarchy figures overseas who posted messages defaming the monarchy on social media are involved in the plot.  

The court has already issued arrest warrants for other suspects at large.

The junta leader has accused the main faction of the red shirt movement, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), to be the mastermind of the plot.

The UDD leaders have, however, denied involvement in the plot, saying that the alleged terrorist plot is an attempt by the junta to divert public attention from the Thai Army’s Rajabhakti Park corruption scandal.