RealNews

Thailand Tiptoes in Step With American Antiterror Effort

Although Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra insists publicly that his country is safely on the sidelines in the campaign against terrorism, he has secretly been helping the United States in several significant ways, American officials say. He has allowed the Central Intelligence Agency to bring suspected members of Al Qaeda here for interrogation and the American Air Force to use bases in Thailand for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, American officials say. Two weeks ago, the Thai authorities were acting on a C.I.A. tip when they arrested a man suspected of being part of a plot to blow up the United States Embassy in Singapore in December 2001. But Mr. Thaksin has largely kept his support of the United States secret, and he has enlisted the Bush administration in his efforts. Thus, when the State Department was preparing a list of countries that had identified themselves as part of the United States-led coalition in Iraq, the Thai government insisted that Thailand not be included. The White House agreed, reluctantly. Full Story

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