Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001 - Thailand

Prime Minister Thaksin condemned the September 11 terrorist attacks and said his country would stand by the United States in the international Coalition to combat terrorism. The Government pledged cooperation on counterterrorism between US and Thai agencies, committed to signing all the UN counterterrorism conventions, and offered to participate in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Thailand took several concrete actions in support of the war on terrorism. Thai financial authorities began investigating financial transactions covered under UN resolutions to freeze al-Qaida and Taliban assets. In an effort to prevent terrorism and crime, immigration officials in December announced initiatives to expand the list of countries whose citizens are required to obtain visas before they arrive in Thailand. Thailand also offered to dispatch one construction battalion and five medical teams to serve in UN-mandated operations in Afghanistan. In Thailand, police stepped up security around US and Western-owned buildings immediately following the September 11 attacks.

Thai authorities suspect Muslim organized crime groups from the predominately Muslim provinces in southern Thailand were responsible for several small-scale attacks in 2001, including three bombings in early April that killed a child and wounded dozens of persons, an unexploded truck bomb that was found next to a hotel in southern Thailand in November, and, in December, a series of coordinated attacks on police checkpoints in southern Thailand that killed five police officers and a defense volunteer.

On 19 June, authorities averted an attempted bombing at the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangkok when they found and disarmed two explosive devices that had failed to detonate. Three ethnic Vietnamese males were taken into custody. One was charged with illegal possession of explosives and conspiracy to cause an explosion in connection with the incident. The others were released after police determined there was insufficient evidence to link them to the crime.

In central Bangkok in early December, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at a multistory building housing a ticketing office of the Israeli airline El Al, although police doubted the Israeli carrier was the intended target. There were no casualties.


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