Thailand: Canned Terror

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July 9, 2006: Islamic terrorists tried to derail a train in the south with explosives, but only caused slight damage to the train. There were no injuries. Security was increased at railroad facilities, which are vulnerable to more powerful explosions. Meanwhile, Islamic terrorists continued to murder non-Moslems in the south, seemingly at random. Some attacks, however, appear to be part of extortion rackets run by local gangs. The criminal organizations often have overlapping membership with Islamic terrorist groups.
July 6, 2006: Police have identified the man who has been teaching teenagers to build bombs, and found that the kids have since gone on to develop more powerful designs. Particularly worrisome is a new design using fertilizer explosives (amonium nitrate fertilizer and diesel oil mixed into a slurry and set off with a blasting cap). The slurry is placed in a large can, normally used to hold fish, and rigged with a detonator, using two AA batteries, that sets the bomb off if anyone touches the can. The first such bomb was recently found and disarmed before it could go off. There appear to be fewer than a dozen young guys involved in building these bombs, and police are trying to get names, and arrests.
July 5, 2006: Government inducements persuaded 65 young Moslem men to participate in a surrender ceremony, and switch from participation in Islamic terrorism, to retraining for a less violent career. Unemployment is a big problem in the south, and the criminal gangs have established an economy of their own, that offers employment, along with the risk of jail or getting killed. But trying to leave the life of crime and terrorism has its risks, as the Islamic terrorists, in particular, are now murdering some of those who have renounced violence and accepted the government amnesty.

 

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