A self-proclaimed “anti-American” group is threatening terrorist attacks against eight U.S. allies by the end of the month, including South Korea, Japan, Australia and the Pakistan, a South Korean official said Thursday.
The group, called the “Yello-Red Overseas Organization,” warned in a one-page letter sent to the South Korean Embassy in Thailand that it will launch the attacks through April 30, embassy spokesman Ryoo Jung-young told The Associated Press.
The group described itself as “anti-American” and threatened to attack diplomatic compounds, airlines and public transportation systems in eight countries that are U.S. allies or have plans to send troops to Iraq. They are: South Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia, Kuwait and Pakistan.
Ryoo said it was the first time South Korean authorities had heard of the group and were investigating the threat’s credibility. The embassy notified South Korea’s Foreign Ministry, the Thai government and police, he said.
The letter was received Wednesday and Thai police said they were stepping up security around the South Korean Embassy in Bangkok.
The South Korean Foreign Ministry in Seoul said it had not notified other nations on the list but that it had confirmed that the Pakistani Embassy in Bangkok had also received a similar letter, an official said on condition of anonymity.
South Korean diplomatic missions worldwide were alerted to the threat.
South Korea plans to send some 3,000 more troops to Iraq, which would make it the biggest coalition partner behind the United States and Britain.
The deployment, pledged earlier this year, was put on hold amid concerns it would involve combat operations in violation of a parliamentary mandate for peacekeeping.
Last week, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said mounting violence in Iraq has prompted her government to study whether to withdraw its nearly 100 troops from Iraq, although she later said the troops would stay.
Thailand has expressed similar concerns over its 445 noncombat troops in Iraq.
Japan and Australia, which also have troops in Iraq, have pledged to keep them there.
Kuwait, a close U.S. ally in the Gulf region, was used by American-led forces last year as a staging ground to invade Iraq.
Singapore has a special facility for U.S. aircraft carriers and has been a strong supporter of efforts to fight terrorist groups in the region.
Pakistan has no troops in Iraq but has backed the U.S.-led war on the former Taliban regime in neighboring Afghanistan.