Malaysia to extradite Iranian suspected of attempted attack on Israeli targets

Judge says Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, allegedly involved in Bangkok explosion, acted like a ‘fugitive criminal’

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

A suspected bomber lies injured at the site of the explosion in Bangkok, February 2012 (photo credit: AP Photo)
A suspected bomber lies injured at the site of the explosion in Bangkok, February 2012 (photo credit: AP Photo)

An Iranian suspected of planning attacks against Israeli targets in Bangkok will be extradited to Thailand, after a Malaysian court approved the request on Monday.

Masoud Sedaghatzadeh was arrested on February 15 at the Kuala Lumpur international airport, as part of a group blamed for involvement in producing explosives that were allegedly intended to be directed at Israeli diplomats in Bangkok.

Bombs were found at the house where the explosion occurred, and Thai police say Sedaghatzadeh and two other Iranian men now in Thai custody had been seen leaving the house. Though many fingers were pointed at Tehran for the botched attacks, Iran denied any involvement.

Sedaghatzadeh said he planned to appeal the decision. He is not expected to be deported immediately.

Sedaghatzadeh, 31, insists he visited Thailand for a vacation and came to Malaysia to buy automobile parts for his business in Tehran.

“I do not belong to any terrorist organization either in Iran or outside Iran,” he said in court documents filed Monday by his Malaysian lawyer.

Judge Komathy Suppiah ruled there was sufficient evidence that Sedaghatzadeh was a fugitive who could be handed over to Thai custody.

Sedaghatzadeh has 15 days to file an appeal, said his lawyer, Nashir Hussin.

During the February incident in Bangkok one terrorist lost his legs in an apparent accidental explosion of a homemade bomb believed to be intended for use against Israeli targets in the city.

The explosions in the Thai capital was part of a mid-February series of attacks against Israeli diplomatic targets, which also consisted of a bombing in India that wounded an Israeli diplomat’s wife and driver, and an attempted bombing in the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

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