Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thailand: IED Detonates Prematurely in Bangkok, Others Injured During Terrorists' Escape

The government of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announced earlier today (February 14) that an IED detonation occurred, obviously accidentally, at a rented home in the Ekami (Soi 71) section of the capital (on the outskirts of Central Bangkok), as three suspects attempted to flee the scene, one of whom was critically injured.

Government spokeswoman Thitima Chaisang said one of the suspects was critically injured when the IED detonated. She indicated that the two other suspects are also of Iranian descent.

The suspect injured in the detonation has been sent to a local hospital ER, while police are searching for the other two suspects. Four other bystanders have also been injured as a result of the suspects hurling M-26 grenades to facilitate their escape.

Although there may or may not be a connection to yesterday's (February 13) attacks on Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia, it should be noted that the incident occurred roughly a month after the US Embassy warned US citizens of a terrorist attack in Bangkok.

COMMENT: Last month, Bangkok police charged a Swedish-Lebanese national linked to Hezbollah with possessing illegal substances after detaining him in connection with a plan to attack sites frequented by Americans and Israelis.

It is also noteworthy to point out that today's attack follows a warning by the US Embassy in Bangkok warning its citizens of a terrorist attack in the Thai capital.

Police also found C-4 explosives and remote control detonation devices in the house the three suspects described above were renting.

There is a lesson to be learned from all of the facts noted above: Terror threats take time to germinate. Unfortunately, in our fast-paced world, if a terrorist warning is announced, and nothing happens in a matter of days, many people discount it as bogus.

Yet, the time it takes for a threat to be released to the public and executed can often be weeks, if not months.

Particularly with Muslim terrorism in Thailand's south having a traceable history of violence, particularly in recent years, it is entirely possible that the Iranian suspects in Bangkok were relying on material and logistical support from the south.

Although I could talk for hours about the terrorist threat in the south, it should be emphasized that the provinces of Satun, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat are all high-risk areas, particularly for Thai Buddhists and foreigners.

Collectively, Islamic fundamentalism is nurtured in these provinces where some four million Muslims are seeking independence from Bangkok.




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