Major landmarks and sensitive locations in Thailand capital Bangkok have gone under a security lockdown after Thai police uncovered a terror plot targeting the city.
The latest terror threat comes weeks after a terror attack that shook southern Thailand. The country's security chief said an armed group was plotting car bomb attacks in a province near the capital.
"The deputy prime minister instructed security agencies to closely track and monitor anything unusual including things used to prepare bombs and cars," National Security Council chief General Thawip Netniyom said.
In August last year, 20 tourists died when a bomb exploded at a religious shrine in Bangkok.
General Thawip said the terrorists would target Bangkok as they "probably want to make an impact." Tourism accounts for about 10 percent of Thailand's economy.
In August this year, a wave of bomb atacks in tourist destinations in the country's south had killed four Thai people and injured many foreign tourists.
Thawip said he was not sure whether the planned car bombs and the August attacks were related, according to Reuters.
The terrorists planned to hit the city between October 25 and 30, the Nation reported, citing local intelligence officials. The terror plot targeted airports, parking spaces and department stores, the report said.
"I have already instructed police in all areas to increase screening and searching of suspicious vehicles which is in line with the anti-terrorism plans," deputy police chief Pol-Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said.
More than 6,000 people have died in violence and terror attacks since the Islamic insurgency started in the southern provinces of the country in 2004.
Al-Qaeda-linked outfits Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiah have been at the forefront of the Islamic insurgency in southern Philippines. The insurgents envision the establishment of a pan-Islamic super-state in Southeast Asia. Their immediate goal is to set up an Islamic state in the western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.
Abu Sayyaf founder Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalan was killed in a military action in 1998 and his brother who took over the reins of the outfit was killed in 2006.
The group was behind several bombings, hostage taking and kidnap for ransom throughout the 90s. They were behind the Manila bombings in 2005 and the bomb explosion outside the Philippine Congress in 2007 that killed a Congressman and three others.
In 2001 they kidnapped tourists from a resort and murdered three of the hostages later, including an American.