Bombs in Bangkok Update

posted at 5:46 pm on December 31, 2006 by see-dubya

Eight bombs went off, total, in shopping centers, supermarkets (Tesco is a British chain, FWIW), and a river pier, with a ninth found and defused. Thai police sent everyone home from New Years’ parties which may have saved a few lives. At this point (2:37 PM Pacific) the toll is two dead, thirty injured.

There’s a reasonable argument to be made that this is about domestic politics. Thailand suffered a military coup earlier this year, and the Bangkok Post describes some ongoing resistance to them of the pyromaniacal persuasion.

Still, unlike the Madrid Airport bomb, this involves a series of blasts with no warning and innocent civilian targets. Looks like the signature of an Al-Qaeda analogue.

Thai police insist this has nothing to do with the radical Muslim insurgency in the South, which burns schools just like the Taliban tries to do in Afghanistan. And maybe it doesn’t. Al Qaeda has operated in SE Asia for a long time.

Update (Bryan): The following is from a contact in Thailand.

Thai authorities are claiming that the bombs set off in Bangkok and a neighboring province are not the work of Muslim terrorists from the south of the country. Political opponents of the recent military coup and the unelected government are said to be responsible for the deaths and injuries.

This explanation has two possible interpretations: the bombings are either the work of supporters of deposed prime minister Thaksin
Shinawatra, or they were committed by other unspecified elements that are enraged by the military’s imposition of an unelected government.

Both possibilities beggar belief.

Arson attacks on schools north of Bangkok have been claimed to be the work of bitter opponents of the coup leaders and current government. Now the authorities are suggesting the bombs in and around Bangkok were placed by the same or similar groups.

It was recently reported that the Thai army is employing a “secret” force whose mission is to discover and counter political groups that are determined to resist the government.

Ever since the reappearance some two and a half years ago of violence in the predominantly Muslim south, Thai politicians and military leaders have made a number of incredible claims about the causes of the slaughter. Even as Muslim leaders announce their goals and threaten Bangkok with bombings, the government refuses to acknowledge facts. Thais cling to the absurd notion that the problem in the southern provinces is a purely domestic issue with simple economic roots. News is censored so the Thai public is unaware of the Malaysian government’s attitude; lies about the nature of Islamist teaching are spread and believed.

Official Thai policy is to deny the obvious, blame anyone other than Islamofascists for the violence, and mislead the public about the true nature of the threat.

The notion that Thaksin voters or idealistic proponents of representative democracy are eager to murder civilians at random is
insane. If Muslims are not behind yesterday’s bombings, then Thailand harbors a network of sophisticated sociopathic mass murderers whose motives and goals are inconceivable.

The only faction in Thailand with the means, the will and the desire to slaughter innocent people is the Islamofascist underground.

In the past, pro-Thaksin elements in Thai politics have tried to blame the protracted violence in the south of the country on organized crime. The mobsters were said to be killing people at random because Thaksin had cracked down on their lucrative operations (gambling, smuggling, drug-running). This lunatic “explanation” was accepted by many Thais, in spite of repeated acts of violence and civil uprisings that were obviously motivated by religion alone.

The jihadis have declared publicly that they would come to Bangkok to maim and kill. Why they are not taken at their word is a question that should be asked of the Thai authorities.


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How would the police know it was not the islamists from the south?

forest on December 31, 2006 at 5:56 PM

It’s probably not the Islamists. They’re only responsible for 90% of the world’s terrorism.

gmoonster on December 31, 2006 at 5:58 PM

This is absolute unspeakable madness. The perpetrators of this had absolutely no idea who it was that they’d be killing. The attack reminds of a similar attack that took place in Myanmar earlier this year when a marketplace was bombed. That blast killed a Christian missionary (funded by my church) and left her children badly burned and orphaned (both parents dead).

There are times when I am truly ashamed to admit that I am a human being. Stuff like this makes me feel that way.

CyberCipher on December 31, 2006 at 7:21 PM

Oh, it’s NOT the muslims? In other words: “We’d NEVER blame our overlords for this, we’re *good* little dhimmis.”

I saw a preview for some show about the many ways we could all die, asteroids, plagues, etc and one was terrorism. Well, when they said terrorism they showed a picture of … islamic jihadis? Nope, try Ted Kazinski the “Unabomber”. Gimma a friggin’ break. He was just some treehuggin’ looney tune who made small pipebombs. Why didn’t they show islamic “holy warriors”? Fear of attack maybe? Same reason Thia police claim “it wasn’t the muslims.” We’ll see.

Tony737 on December 31, 2006 at 7:33 PM

Troubled “youths”.

infidel on December 31, 2006 at 7:46 PM

Those damned troubled “youths” again. They cause so many problems around the world. I think something should be done about them so I think we should start a fact-finding committee to investigate that reasons why they are so angry.

x95b10 on December 31, 2006 at 8:00 PM

A few years ago, when the islamist insurrection in the south was first heating up, Thai officials insisted for as long as they could that it was just local criminal gangs and not organized islamist terrorism.

Thai officials have very little credibility with me, especially post-coup.

sandberg on December 31, 2006 at 8:48 PM

According to CNN:

Bombings occur on a regular basis in Thailand’s three southernmost provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani, where an Islamic insurgency that flared in January 2004 has resulted in the deaths of more than 1,900 people.

That’s a whole lotta people.
Poor Bangkok. If this is indeed the insurgency moving north, it is a bad turn of events indeed.

MayBee on December 31, 2006 at 10:27 PM

This explanation has two possible interpretations: the bombings are either the work of supporters of deposed prime minister Thaksin
Shinawatra, or they were committed by other unspecified elements that are enraged by the military’s imposition of an unelected government.

The other option I’m hearing is that it was the generals themselves, planting bombs to blame anti-government forces and giving them an excuse to crack down. That’s pretty out there, but who knows?

MayBee on December 31, 2006 at 11:03 PM

Oh, it’s NOT the muslims? In other words: “We’d NEVER blame our overlords for this, we’re *good* little dhimmis.”

I saw a preview for some show about the many ways we could all die, asteroids, plagues, etc and one was terrorism. Well, when they said terrorism they showed a picture of … islamic jihadis? Nope, try Ted Kazinski the “Unabomber”. Gimma a friggin’ break. He was just some treehuggin’ looney tune who made small pipebombs. Why didn’t they show islamic “holy warriors”? Fear of attack maybe? Same reason Thia police claim “it wasn’t the muslims.” We’ll see.

Tony737 on December 31, 2006 at 7:33 PM

Not to give the Rop credit for anything, because the world would be better without it, but this doesnt have thier stink attached to it, I could be wrong but theyre more practiced and would have killed more than two with 8 bombs..

this of course is just my $.02

Viper1 on January 1, 2007 at 6:28 AM

Vip, maybe they’re rookie jihadi trainees. I hope they make ‘em were “Trainee” badges. How do ya haze a jihadi newbie? Make him wear panties on his head?

Tony737 on January 1, 2007 at 6:53 AM

How do ya haze a jihadi newbie? Make him wear panties on his head?

Nah. They have to recite the entire Koran in reverse while being beaten with strips of bacon and screaming “death to america” between every third verse.

Most of them don’t make it though. The bacon was just too much for them.

One Angry Christian on January 1, 2007 at 12:20 PM

Maybe it’s Mormons.

Tantor on January 2, 2007 at 6:44 PM