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Bangkok terror: total information breakdown

Officials offer wildly contradictory details of hunt for suspected Hezbollah bombers
Bangkok terror 2012Enlarge
A Swedish-Lebanese man suspected of planning an attack in Bangkok is escorted by Thai policemen at the Border Patrol Police Bureau in Bangkok on January 16, 2012. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

For those trying to decipher the dizzying Bangkok terror warnings, which suggest Hezbollah-linked bombers are targeting Americans and Israelis, here's a breakdown of officials' contradictory public statements.

What you'll see is a total failure to offer a unified and coherent message from both U.S., Israeli and Thai officials.

"Foreign terrorists may be currently looking to conduct attacks against tourist areas in Bangkok in the near future." - the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok

The bombers are linked to the Iran-backed Shiite militant group Hezbollah - Thai Deupty Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung

They're not our guys - Hezbollah

Hezbollah has cancelled the attacks - Police General Priewpan Damapong

Thai cops seized a huge trove of explosive materials "readied for Bangkok terror" - Thai Rath, Thailand's largest newspaper

Actually, no, the bombs were meant for some other country - Thai police

We've disrupted the terror plot, tourists' safety is guaranteed and embassies should revoke all terror alerts - Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra

"Our advice to US citizens still stands. We remain in close touch w Thai law enforcement authorities" - U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, Kristie Kenney, via Twitter

With American diplomats still insisting attacks could be nigh, and Thailand's premier encouraging tourists to keep coming, confusion reigns. Tourism, which accounts for roughly 6-7 percent of Thailand's GDP, is likely to suffer.

But there's a simple solution for travelers who've already booked holidays in Bangkok.

Avoid the the two locales pinpointed as terror targets: the party-til-you-puke Khao San road backpacker haunt and Sukhumvit 22, a street with a nice synagogue but also lots of grubby massage joints.

You'll probably be glad you did.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/bangkok-terror

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