Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - Thailand
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||18 August 2011|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - Thailand, 18 August 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e52481037.html [accessed 23 December 2014]|
Overview: While officials have long expressed concern that transnational terrorist groups could establish links with southern Thailand-based separatist groups, there have been no indications that transnational terrorist groups were directly involved in the violence in the south, and there was no evidence of direct operational links between southern Thai insurgent groups and regional terrorist networks.
The ethno-nationalist separatist insurgency in Thailand's southernmost provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala, and portions of Songkhla continued in 2010. A two-month political protest organized by the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) in Bangkok between March and May 2010 paralyzed the capital, descended into violence, and resulted in 92 deaths. The Government of Thailand has since filed charges under the terrorist-based provisions of the criminal code against a number of the UDD core leaders and fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra for allegedly having engaged in or abetted acts of domestic terrorism. The circumstances surrounding the violence and the deaths were under investigation at year's end by both the Thai government's Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and an independent fact-finding commission.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The porous nature of Thailand's southern border with Malaysia remained an issue of concern. At the same time, cross-border law enforcement cooperation based on long association between Thai and Malaysian police officers was good.
On November 16, the Thai government extradited international arms trafficker Viktor Bout to the United States. Bout was indicted in New York for conspiring to kill U.S. nationals and officers, to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles, and to provide material support to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
On November 30, Thai police arrested three persons with alleged links through a document forgery ring with links to terrorist groups. The arrests were part of a joint Thai-Spanish operation in which Spanish police also arrested seven other persons in connection with the same document forgery ring.
Thai police, security officials, and court system personnel participated in a series of U.S. training programs sponsored through the Antiterrorism Assistance Program, the Force Protection Detachment (the criminal justice sector capacity building programs for police, prosecutors, and judiciary mounted by the Transnational Crime Affairs Section), and the International Law Enforcement Academy in Bangkok. The Thai National Security Council and its Thai Immigration Bureau reconfirmed its commitment to the U.S.-provided Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) program.
Countering Terrorist Finance: The Thai government expressed high-level political commitment to addressing deficiencies that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had identified in Thailand's anti-money laundering/counterterrorist finance (AML/CTF) regime, and reported taking multiple steps to address FATF recommendations. Ministry of Finance regulations governing cross border cash carrying were in line with the FATF Special Recommendation on Terrorist Financing. On December 7, the Thai cabinet approved the Ministry of Justice's proposed AML/CTF National Strategy Plan (2011-2015), and as part of the government's actions under this plan, the Anti-Money Laundering Office and a Thai government working group drafted a proposed Counterterrorism Financing Act which, in part, would criminalize the collection or provision of funds for the purpose of supporting terrorist acts or organizations. The Justice Minister has committed to FATF that this legislation will be passed by October 2011. Thailand is a member of the Egmont Group of financial intelligence units.
To comply with international standards and to develop further an effective regime to freeze terrorist funds and assets of designated entities under UNSCRs 1267 and 1373, the Thai government established the Anti-Money Laundering Board in November. The Thai government drafted multiple amendments to its anti-money laundering act, including one to increase the number of predicate offenses and to decrease the minimum cash transaction reporting threshold for electronic-payments. The amendments were submitted to the Council of State where they remained under review at year's end.
Regional and International Cooperation: Thailand participated actively in international counterterrorism efforts through the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, ASEAN, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and other multilateral fora.