03 May 2004

Thailand: Dangers of Jihadi Reprisal

The South Asia Analysis Group has just posted an analysis of the recent clash between Muslim youth and Thai police in the Pattani area of southern Thailand.
3. The tactics adopted by the poorly-armed Muslim youth bring to mind more that of the LTTE in the early years of its struggle against the Sri Lankan Armed Forces or of the Maoists of Nepal or of the tribal insurgents of India's North-East than that of the jihadi terrorists active in the South-East Asian and South Asian region. The LTTE, the Maoists and the Indian tribal insurgents used to adopt such tactics to replenish their stocks of arms and ammunition.

4. What these young Muslims have exhibited in common with their co-religionists in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere is their fierce motivation and not the modus operandi adopted by them. They do not appear to be bandits or narcotics smugglers as projected by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand and his officials. They are politically and religiously motivated fighters, with no evidence so far of any external influence--either from the Jemaah Islamiyah of the South-East Asian region or the jihadi organisations of Pakistan and/or Bangladesh--on their mind.

5. Attacking in large numbers with machetes is not the known modus operandi of any of the identified jihadi organisations of the International Islamic Front (IIF). They do slit the throat of their victims with a knife just as they slit the throat of a sacrificial goat with one, but they do not indulge in massive attacks on posts of the security forces and the police carrying only machetes.
At the same time, Nirmal Ghosh in the Straits Times reports:
PATTANI - A top security adviser to the [Thai] government said yesterday that an underground shadowy movement that has been building its ranks for almost a decade was behind the recent spate of violence in the country's restive south.
And the Weekend Australian reports:
SUSPECTED Islamic militants killed by security forces at a south Thailand mosque may have been trained abroad by the al-Qaeda linked South-east Asian terror network Jemaah Islamiah (JI), a news report said today.
Pattani is just across the piracy-plagued Straits of Malacca from Aceh.

Hat tip: Winds of Change

No comments: