Thailand at the time insisted that the country was a staging ground for attacks but not the target — a claim disputed by Israel and the United States which warned their citizens to be alert for a foreign terror attack in Bangkok. Thai media reported that the Israeli Embassy and several Israeli backpacker hangouts were the targets.
Authorities say they have not determined if the two plots were connected.
The Iranian arrests have ratcheted up tensions between Iran and Israel, which is accusing Iran of waging a covert campaign of state terror. A Monday bombing in New Delhi tore through an Israeli diplomatic vehicle, wounding an Israeli diplomat's wife and driver, the same day of a failed bomb attempt in Tbilisi, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
Thailand's national police chief said Thursday that the detained Iranians were also plotting to attack Israeli diplomats, citing the similarity of "sticky" bombs that were used in New Delhi and Tbilisi.
Iran has denied responsibility for all three bomb plots.
In another blow to Thailand's image, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force this week named it one of 15 "high risk" countries for failure to take sufficient steps against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Thailand joins the likes of Cuba, Myanmar, Nigeria and Syria.
"I insist Thailand is not a place for money laundering," Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Yuthasak Sasiprapa said Friday. "Thailand is only a transit place because it's easy to go through."
He added that Thailand is increasingly aware of its conflict: "On the one hand we have to invite tourists. On the other hand, we have to closely scrutinize them."
Associated Press writers Todd Pitman and Thanyarat Doksone in Bangkok and Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, contributed to this report.
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