Thailand yesterday sentenced a Swedish citizen of Lebanese origin to two years and eight months in prison for possession of materials that could be used to make a bomb.
Atris Hussein, 49, was arrested in January last year after a tip-off from Israel’s secret services that Hezbollah members planned to attack Thailand during the New Year celebrations.
He was convicted for possessing about 2.8 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which is commonly used in agriculture, but when mixed with other substances can make a bomb. Its possession requires a permit in Thailand.
“The court found him guilty of illegal armament possession and sentenced him to four years in jail, but due to his useful testimony during the investigation and hearing, his sentence is reduced by one-third to two years and eight months,” a judge said.
The court said investigators could not prove Hussein had links with Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite Muslim group that is blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the US.
Hussein, who had faced a maximum of five years in jail, denied the charges and the alleged links to Hezbollah.
A smiling Hussein hugged his wife and daughter after the ruling.