Thailand today ordered surveillance of Uighur and Chechen tourists, suspecting that they might have entered the country on fake passports and planning to launch terrorist attacks.
Issuing the order, Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said that surveillance had begun earlier after the two visitor groups were found involved in passport forgery.
Immigration police and other security agencies were monitoring the aliens, the minister was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post.
"We have two theories. They may have snuck into Thailand to have their fake passports done so that they can travel to another country. Or they may have arrived for terror attacks," Gen Prawit said.
A few months back, a military court in Thailand charged two ethnic Uighur Chinese men with carrying out a bombing at the hugely popular Erawan Brahma temple here in August last year that left 20 people dead and more than 120 injured.
The two suspects, however, denied the charges.
The blast at the temple was one of the most deadly acts of violence in Bangkok in decades.
The Military Court has set April 20-22 for the inspection of the evidence, the report said.
Chechens are a Caucasian ethnic group in the North Caucasus region of Western Asia. The southern Russian republic of Chechnya has long been a boiling point for conflict with Moscow in the restive North Caucasus.