NO OFFSHOOTS of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has been detected in Thailand, according to police spokesman Pol General Detnarong Suthichanbancha.
The militant groups in the deep South held a different ideology to ISIS and were unlikely to join the terror group, he said. Detnarong also confirmed it was the policy of the government to solve the South unrest by promoting a better understanding with local residents.
Detnarong's comments came in response to reports that militants in the Philippines had formed a Southeast Asian faction of ISIS. The Special Branch Police Division's intelligence team was carrying out ongoing intelligence-gathering activities for the security of the French embassy in Bangkok and embassies of other in-conflict nations, he said, but so far no movement has been detected.
The police had also beefed up security at various key venues including attractions frequented by foreign tourists, he added.
Colonel Banphot Phunphian, spokes-man for the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), reiterated the general consensus that neither ISIS nor any other group that might support it is active in Thailand. Army chief General Theerachai Nakwanich had instructed Isoc and other agencies to watch out for suspicious activity.
Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana, PM's Office minister, yesterday pointed out that the report about an ISIS branch opening in Southeast Asia was merely a strategy to get new recruits. He insisted Thailand had not detected any group joining ISIS in Syria.
The former director of the National Intelligence Agency said all nations were at risk, depending on the country context. He admitted some individuals in neighbouring countries had reportedly joined ISIS in Syria. He also affirmed that Thailand had preventive measures in place including border control and also continuous checks for any unusual activity.