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Last Updated: Friday, 22 August, 2003, 07:47 GMT 08:47 UK
Hambali 'eyed Bangkok embassies'
Hambali
Hambali is being interrogated in US custody
Top Asian terror suspect Hambali, who was arrested in Thailand last week, may have been plotting attacks against Western embassies in Bangkok, the Thai prime minister has said.

Thaksin Shinawatra confirmed a report in The Australian newspaper that Hambali revealed while under interrogation that he had the Australian and US embassies in his sights.

The Thai leader also claimed he had been misquoted as saying that Hambali was planning to sabotage the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation forum) summit, which will be attended by US President George W Bush and others in October.

"I told you (reporters) that he did not target the APEC summit. I said that his men went to inspect sensitive locations - US, Australian and Israeli interests," Mr Thaksin was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

An Asian intelligence officer quoted in The Australian also said that Hambali had denied the plan.

A Thai police source told Reuters news wire on Friday that the locations of the US, British and Australian embassies in Bangkok were marked on maps found in Hambali's apartment after his arrest, but the Israeli mission was not highlighted.

Mr Thaksin also admitted that associates of Hambali remained in the area.

"It is possible that some of Hambali's men are still hiding along the common border between Thailand and Malaysia," he said.

Hambali is believed to be the operations chief for the Muslim militant group Jemaah Islamiah, which is striving for a pan-South East Asian Islamic state.

He was arrested in joint US-Thai police operation in the central city of Ayutthaya on 11 August.

He is currently being held in US custody at an unknown location.


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