Thailand: Safe Haven Turns Into A Trap


May 14, 2013: Moslem terrorists in the south continue demanding an independent state for the three mainly Moslem provinces. Government peace negotiators refuse to grant anything more than additional autonomy. The terrorists are also demanding the release of over a hundred people arrested, but not yet tried, on charges of terrorism, in order to help move the peace talks along. That demand has also been turned down, not least because many of those awaiting trial are charged with murder.

The government is in a position of strength since a decade of Islamic terrorism has not done much more than hurt the Moslems in the three southernmost provinces and gotten over 5,000 people killed. Popular support for this terrorism movement is declining and the government is trying to persuade the radicals to take what they can and make peace. Even with that, there will not be complete peace, as there are still many criminal gangs (mainly drugs and smuggling) down there that generate murders in the normal course of doing business.

May 4, 2013: In the Moslem south two civilians were shot dead by Islamic terrorists.

May 3, 2013: The government extradited an Algerian hacker (Hamza Bendelladj) to the United States, where he is wanted for bank fraud via the Internet dating back to 2009. Bendelladj was arrested at a Thai airport four months ago, at the request of the United States, and since then has been trying to avoid extradition and trial. Foreign criminals used to regard Thailand as a safe haven because, until recently, it was possible to avoid detection and extradition easily. But better technology and policing, along with less corruption in the courts, has made Thailand less welcoming for criminals on the run.

May 2, 2013: In the south two bombs went off in commercial districts but no one was injured.

April 30, 2013:  Peace talks with southern separatist and Islamic radical groups resumed in Malaysia.




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