Nation TV Airs Fake ‘Suicide Vest’ Image in Arrest Report

An image taken from Nation TV as tweeted by Thailand blogger Richard Barrow.

BANGKOK — For the second time since the Erawan Shrine bombing, Nation TV is being criticized for its coverage after it broadcast an image yesterday of an unrelated suicide bomber vest in a story about the arrest of a suspect.

Ten days after apologizing for staging an incident criticized as insensitive, the media outlet today broadcast used an image of a bomb vest taken from a U.S. security agency in a report about bombing suspect Adem Karadag, a device authorities quickly pointed out was not in the suspect’s possession or residence.

“There have been photos of suicide bomb vest,” said police Col. Kamthorn Uicharoen, commander of the Royal Thai Police explosives unit. “We didn’t find it at the crime scene where we collected evidence. I don’t know where that photo is from. I insist that we didn’t find it at the scene.”

According to media reports, the image was of a fake suicide vest posted to the blog of the Transportation Security Administration, a U.S. agency created after the Sept. 11 attacks in New York to secure public transportation. It was said to be confiscated from the luggage of a passenger.


Nation TV appropriated the image after it was broadcast earlier in a televised address from the junta featuring police spokesman Lt. Gen. Prawuth Thawornsiri and Col. Winthai Suwaree.



Reinforcing the impression it was found at the scene, Nation TV showed the image in a report on yesterday’s arrest in the eastern outskirts of Bangkok of a suspect police said was involved in the 17 Aug. shrine bombing which killed 20.

On Aug. 20, Nation TV president Adisak Limprungpatanakij apologized for sending someone disguised as the suspected shrine bomber into the shrine for a reenactment three days after the attack.

The same network also repeatedly used a composite image of the prime suspect in the shrine bombing using the face of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a Kyrgyzstani-American man currently in prison in the United States for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Nation TV has yet to make a statement.

Clarification: This story has been updated to reflect that the vest image was first disseminated in a televised address by the military government.



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