In the south, the
Islamic terrorists have increased their efforts to shut down local Moslems
cooperating with the police. This means more killing of actual, or suspected
informers, and increasing attacks on the cell phone system. The prevalence of
cell phone use has led to the capture of many Islamic terrorists, so that phone
system is under attack. The government has extended martial law for four more
months in the south. Four years of violence have killed about 2,800 people so
far, with a decline in terrorist activity over the last few months. But now it's
picking up again, apparently as police close in on key personnel in the
criminal and Islamic organizations.
January 15, 2008: In the south, a bomb hidden in a motorcycle
went off in a crowded market, wounding nearly 40 people. This was another
effort to terrorize local Moslems to cease cooperating with police. While most
Moslems in the south resent being governed by Thais (who differ in terms of religion,
language and culture from the Malays of the south), they don't want to be ruled
by gangsters and religious fanatics either.
January 14, 2008: In the south, a large
group of Islamic terrorists ambushed an army patrol, killing eight soldiers,
and beheading one. A roadside bomb hit the soldiers truck, then the terrorists
attacked with guns.
January 12, 2008: In the south, six men
jailed as suspected Islamic terrorists, broke out of jail and fled by boat to
Malaysia. Bribery was suspected, and the government again asked Malaysia to
shut down Islamic terrorist refuges in Malaysia (which Malaysia denies exist.)
January 7, 2008: In the south, two army intelligence personnel,
a government official and seven local cops were arrested for providing
information to local gangs and Islamic terrorists. All of those arrested were
Moslem. Such bribery of local officials is not unknown in Thailand, but because
the Islamic terrorism impacts public safety, this case was particularly embarrassing.