Bangkok Bombing – Sketch Released, Foreign Man With Uyghur Revenge Theory

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Aug 19 2015
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China is home to about 20 million Muslims, with the Uyghur being the second biggest group constituting roughly 41% or 8.4 million. The Uyghur are a Turkic ethnic group live primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. Last month, Thailand forcibly deported 109 Uyghur back to China.



The action has sparked anger in Turkey, not to mention human rights group in America, over fears they could be mistreated upon their return. China retaliated and pointed that 13 of the 109 were actually terrorist suspects. Images of some of these “suspected terrorists” sitting in an aircraft with black hoods over their heads accompanied by Chinese police were shown.


China also claims some of the Uyghur who have ultimately ended up in Turkey are being sold to fight for terror groups such as Islamic State as “cannon fodder.” Besides denying it restricts the Uyghur’ religious freedoms, China instead blames Islamist militants for a rise in violent attacks in Xinjiang in the past three years in which hundreds have died.

Turks Uyghurs Burning China Flag

So, could the bombing in Bangkok’s Erawan Shrine have anything to do with Uyghur’s revenge over last month’s deportations? Thai authorities seem to believe so after it received intelligence that Chinese tourists could be the primary target of the attacks. The explosion in Erawan Shrine on Monday night has killed 22 people and injured 125.


At least 11 foreigners were killed in the explosion, with Chinese, Hong Kong, Singaporean, Indonesian and Malaysian citizens among the dead. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Hindu shrine, a popular attraction for Thais and other Asian visitors. The shrine is dedicated to the Hindu god Brahma but is also popular among Thailand’s Buddhists and Chinese tourists.

Thailand Bangkok Erawan Shrine Bombing - Scene

Bangkok police on Wednesday has issued an arrest warrant for a “foreign man” seen in footage of the blast, after revealing a sketch of the prime suspect showing a man with fair complexion, dark hair and spectacles. Two other men seen in CCTV footage near the scene of the bomb blast are also suspects, bringing the number of suspects to three.

Thailand Bangkok Erawan Shrine Bombing - Three Suspects on CCTV

Police spokesman Prawut Thawornsiri said in a televised interview – “The person in red and the person in white are also suspect”. A Bangkok Post has this in its report today – “Intelligence from the Special Branch also suggested there could be an attack on Chinese tourists after August 11.” Thai police has deployed more officers to the Chinese embassy in Bangkok.

Thailand Bangkok Erawan Shrine Bombing - Map Central Bangkok

The Bangkok Post also quoted police sources as saying the Uyghur militants may have launched the attack in retaliation for the decision to deport them. Thai Muslim and human rights groups accused the Thai government of separating the Uyghur families by sending the male migrants to China and the women and children to Turkey.


So far, Thai investigators have not been able to establish the nationality of the man suspected of bombing the shrine, or whether he is still in the country. Royal Thai Police Commissioner Gen. Somyot Poompanmoung said he suspects the attack was not done by a lone person but by many people, and believe Thais were involved.

Thailand Bangkok Erawan Shrine Bombing - Bomber in Yellow Shirt

Thai police are now hunting for what they described as a “Middle Eastern-looking man” caught on a closed circuit TV camera, whom they are “more than 50% certain” was the bomber. The image shows a thin young man with dark, shaggy hair and a light complexion, wearing black-rimmed glasses and wristbands on both arms.

Thailand Bangkok Erawan Shrine Bombing - Sketch of Bomber - Arrest Warrant

Wearing a yellow shirt, he wandered around the shrine, and was seen sitting down at 6:52 p.m. local time (7:52 a.m. ET) Monday, hid the backpack (believed to be pipe bomb) underneath a bench and moment later, he was seen leaving the shrine and heading onto the street. He was reportedly arrived in a “tuk-tuk” and left on a motorcycle taxi.

Thailand Bangkok Erawan Shrine Bombing - Blast SiteThailand Bangkok Erawan Shrine Bombing - What Happened

A Thai motorcycle taxi driver – Kasem Pooksuwan, 47 – believes he picked up the chief suspect in the bombing shortly after the blast. He said the man appeared calm and spoke an unfamiliar language on his cell phone, and he believes it wasn’t English. He told CNN he did not think the man, whom he dropped off at a central city park after a short ride – was Thai.


Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said the attack was “to destroy Thai economy and tourism”. A new second explosion was heard Tuesday at a pier on the Chao Phraya River that flows through Bangkok. Authorities said an unidentified man threw an explosive device from a bridge over a river and it landed in the water instead.

Thailand Bangkok Erawan Shrine

A reward of 1 million Thai baht (US$28,000) is being offered for information leading to the suspect’s arrest. Initially Thai government had blamed the bombing to political pressure group the Red Shirts, then shifted towards anti-government groups loyal to the ousted Shinawatra family, only to backtrack and subsequently blamed insurgents for that attack.


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“Bangkok Bombing – Sketch Released, Foreign Man With Uyghur Revenge Theory”

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