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Iranians say they're innocent of Thai terror plot

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 26, 2013 at 7:22 am •  Published: April 26, 2013

BANGKOK (AP) — Two Iranian men arrested last year after a botched terror plot in Bangkok that allegedly targeted Israeli diplomats proclaimed their innocence Friday, telling a court they were unaware of the stash of homemade bombs found in the house they were staying in.

Their lawyer had given similar accounts earlier, but their testimony Friday was the first in their own words since their trial began in December.

Friday's testimony came more than a year after explosives blew apart a home where the men were staying in a residential Bangkok neighborhood on Valentine's Day last year. The explosion uncovered a plot that Thai authorities say was aimed at Israeli envoys and that Israel says was part of an Iranian-backed network of terror.

One of the two men, Saeid Moradi, said Friday that he found two radio bombs in the cabinet of the home, which he said he slept in for just one night. He said he didn't know where the bombs came from and that he immediately tried to take them outside to dispose of them.

Moradi, a 29-year-old factory technician from Tehran and a former soldier, dropped one of the bombs in an alley, then encountered two policemen on a nearby street. He said he feared police would try to search him and could accidentally detonate the bomb, so he dropped it and it exploded — blowing off his legs.

"If it was going to explode, at least I would die alone," Moradi told the court through an interpreter, saying he dropped the bomb to save lives. "But if it didn't, I was willing to surrender."

Moradi said he was not aware that the bombs he found were similar to "sticky" bombs used against Israeli diplomats in foiled attacks a day earlier in India and the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Investigators said the bombs found at the Bangkok home had round, coin-like magnets on them.

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