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The Israeli defense establishment has recently received new severe alerts about Islamic groups trying to strike Israeli and other Western targets in Thailand.

Six months ago, reports of terrorist plans to strike popular Thai tourist spots led the Israeli Foreign Ministry, through its Web site, to warn Israeli travelers - mostly backpackers - about avoiding popular tourism spots, mostly in the north of Thailand.

This time, the alert is grave and apparently more focused. In addition to possible attacks on Israeli tourists, other Westerners - Americans in particular - are targeted, says the alert.

Islamic terror groups have raised their profile in Southeast Asia in recent months, especially since last October's terror attack in Bali, when some 200 tourists, mostly Australians, were killed in a bombing of a nightclub. Al-Qaida was involved in that bombing.

Reports on Wednesday said Cambodian officials had arrested an Egyptian and two Muslim Thais, and is accusing them of belonging to Islamic terror organizations.