US Man Faces Deporation Over Embassy Threat

Police are seeking to deport a US tourist after he falsely claimed militants were planning a rocket attack on the US Embassy, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday.

Gerald Forbes, 63, a former US Marine originally of the state of Hawaii, was arrested by Interior Min­istry police Tuesday evening, min­istry spokesman Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak said.

National Police Chief Hok Lundy has asked Interior Minister Sar Kheng to deport Forbes to the coun­try from which he entered Cam­bodia, he said, though he did not know which country this was.

Forbes’ one-month tourist visa expired Monday, Khieu Sopheak said.

“The minister can expel people who come to make trouble in society,” he added.

A statement addressed to the embassy and e-mailed to The Cambodia Daily Monday from a person named “Francis Chow” warned of “a rocket attack followed by an attempt to overrun the embassy grounds” by “local forces” between 8 pm Monday and 4 am Tuesday.

“I am a friend of the American government and just passing along what information was overheard in a local restaurant last night,” the author wrote.

In statements to police, Forbes confessed to being the author of the letter and told police he was angered at the US government for failing to deliver monthly checks from his retirement pension on time, Khieu Sopheak said.

Forbes also told police US authorities in Thailand had re­voked his passport in 2003 due to his failure to make child support payments, he added.

US Embassy spokesman Jeff Daigle said Monday the embassy did not consider the message a threat.

“I think embassies around the world receive information of this type that is not credible,” he said.

Khieu Sopheak said a joint command of district, municipal and Interior Ministry police had nevertheless been deployed to protect the embassy Monday night.

“When somebody does something like that we think he is mentally ill,” Khieu Sopheak said, but added that authorities have not officially determined if Forbes suffers from psychological problems.

Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.