Police seized more than 8,800 pounds of urea fertilizer and several gallons of liquid ammonium nitrate at the warehouse in Samut Sakhon, on the western outskirts of Bangkok, according to police and media reports.
The U.S. Embassy had issued an "emergency message" Friday warning of a possible terror threat against Americans in Bangkok, and Israel warned its citizens as well. A dozen other embassies have since urged their citizens to exercise caution.
The warnings come during heightened tension over U.S. and Israeli responses to the prospect that Iran is moving ahead with its nuclear program.
Thai authorities were caught off-guard by the U.S. announcement, hastily revealing they had detained a Swedish national of Lebanese origin with alleged links to pro-Iranian Hezbollah militants and that intelligence indicated a plot could be carried out between Jan. 13 and 15. The defense minister said the news was not released earlier to avoid panic that could hurt Thailand's tourism industry, one of the country's biggest revenue earners.
Damage control continued Monday, with the prime minister calling for calm.
"I'd like to tell people not to panic. The situation is under control. There is no problem," Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told reporters, adding that security was increased and intelligence agencies were closely following the situation. "We can assure the safety of the (Thai) people and foreign tourists."
Details of the alleged plot remained hazy due to conflicting accounts from Thai officials, some of whom said that Thailand appeared to have been a staging ground but not the target of any attack.
(...) Police were led to the warehouse by the suspect, identified as Atris Hussein. Hussein told police that he and other accomplices had rented the warehouse a year ago, according to a police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The official said that police also found shipping containers, leading them to believe the materials were destined for shipment elsewhere, though he declined to say where.
Hussein was charged later Monday with illegally possessing explosive materials and faces up to five years in prison.
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