BANGKOK — The site of Monday’s horrific bombing reopened this morning as officials announced they have widened their search from a lone wolf bomber to a “network” they believe behind the deadly attack which killed at least 20 people.
Worshipers returned to pray at the Erawan Shrine, a landmark and tourist attraction, as police continue hunting their chief suspect, a man they are now confident is a foreign national who likely had the help of Thai confederates.
“I am confident that the perpetrator disguised his face with a wig before he committed the crime, to hide his identity, and I believe there is more than one perpetrator. It has to be a network,” Somyot said, adding, “Foreigners couldn’t commit this act alone. There has to be Thai people, who are not Thais at heart, lending assistance to the crime.”
Initial images released yesterday of the suspect.
Full video from security cameras released last night gave a clearer indication of why police consider the “yellow-shirt man” their chief suspect. In the footage, he enters the shrine area about 15 minutes before the blast, when it is packed with worshipers and foreign tourists. He immediately slips off his backpack after sitting on a bench and departs seconds later while using a smartphone. He turns left on Ratchadamri Road toward the Erawan Hotel.
“The investigation has clearly established that the man in the CCTV is the perpetrator,” said outgoing Thai police chief Somyot Pumpanmuang.
Police Gen. Somyot told reporters he also believes the man was not acting alone and likely had the help of Thai nationals.