Iranians Convicted in Botched Thailand Terror Attack
A court in Thailand on Thursday convicted two Iranians for attempting to set off a bomb in the country's capital of Bangkok in February 2012 aimed at Israeli diplomats. One, Saeid Moradi, 29, was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to life in prison, while the second, Mohammad Khazaei, 43, was sentenced to 15 years for possession of an explosive device.
The bombs exploded in an area of the city not near the Israeli Embassy, which the Iranians had planned to attempt to blow up. Moradi, apparently panicking, threw the bomb at Thai police who attempted to apprehend him, but it exploded before he could let it go. Moradi lost both his legs in the explosion. A third suspect managed to escape to Malaysia, and is fighting extradition to Thailand.
Former Defense Minister Ehud Barak was on a visit to the Far East at the time, and had been set to change planes in Thailand the day after the bomb went off. Police said that they did not believe that he was a target, but Barak changed his travel plans.
Israel had accused Iran of being behind all of the attacks, and the apparent spread of international terrorism aimed at Israeli has sparked a worldwide alert near Israeli and Jewish offices, homes, business and institutions.
Iran not only denied the charges but initially accused Israel of attacking its own diplomats as part of a libel campaign against Iran. The Islamic Republic later changed its view, and said the "Zionists" have plenty of enemies who could have carried out the attacks. The Thai court did not comment on whether the Iranians were part of an international plot by Iran targeting Israel.