Terrorism: June 18, 2005

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Islamic terrorists, finding life too hot in the Philippines, appear to be trying to set up shop in southern Thailand, hoping to hide among the restive Moslem majority there. At the same time, Indonesian terrorists are fleeing to the Philippines, looking for refuge among Islamic radical groups there. In a way, this makes sense. The largest Islamic separatist organization in the Philippines, the MILF, is trying to make peace with Filipino government, and are leaning on their Islamic radical fringe to shape up or, it appears, die (or get out of Dodge.) 

Its uncertain how long south Thailand will be any kind of haven. The Thais have some pretty mean ass special operations units, who are eager to head south if the current nice-nice approach don't work. Thailand has had a Moslem majority population in its southern provinces for a century. While the Buddhist majority in Thailand have advanced economically and educationally, the Moslem south has fallen behind, and now Islamic radicalism, separatism and terrorism have become popular as a solution. The Islamic terrorists are trying to drive Buddhists out of the south, while the government is trying to solve the problem peacefully. Across the border in Malaysia, which has a Moslem majority, the government has made life uncomfortable for Islamic terrorists, who find some sanctuary among that minority of any Moslem population who believe radical Islam is the future. Islamic terrorists have a hard time operating with such a thin base of support. Its turned into a desperate search for sanctuary, by desperate men whose only goal eventually becomes martyrdom and mass murder.

 

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