There has been a coordinated mass casualty attack in Thailand, with aspects eerily similar to the 1993 World Trade Center attack.
Regular readers of TTB may recall 3 years ago when we first covered the Jihadist insurgency in Southern Thailand:
Some 5,000 people have been killed in that conflict since 2004. The aim of the Jihadists is largely the same as that of Jihadist insurgents everywhere: the establishment of an Islamic state ruled by Shariah law.
Before we weigh in on the latest atrocity committed by the Jihadists in southern Thailand, new readers can familiarize themselves with the conflict by checking out the numerous posts we’ve dedicated to this theater in the global Islamic insurgency:
The Jihad in southern Thailand took a major turn for the worse overnight when the Jihadists detonated 3 car bombs and 1 motorcycle bomb, killing 14 and wounding 340.
The number of killed and wounded have climbed throughout the day since the initial reports came in this morning.
The AP first reported 8 dead and 68 wounded. A couple of hours later CNN reported 10 dead and 100 wounded. Then the AP reported 14 dead and 340 wounded. This indicates that Western news agencies have no one near the scene and are dependent on reports from stringers and local news agencies.
That is rather typical of the coverage of this conflict has received all along. No one has really paid attention. The so-called mainstream media has largely ignored the conflict and wants to believe that all such conflicts are strictly born of local issues. The idea of a global Islamic insurgency goes squarely against the narrative that the media rolls out on such conflicts as the ones raging in Thailand, the Philippines, Somalia, Nigeria and elsewhere.
At any rate, this latest series of bomb attacks represents a serious escalation of the violence. This is by far the largest casualty count for an attack by the Jihadists in Thailand and the attack is by far the most planned out and orchestrated.
This could very well indicate the infusion of foreign funding, know-how, training or even Jihadis into southern Thailand.
The bombs were detonated in shopping and dining areas frequented by tourists in Yala city. The first bomb was followed by a detonation designed to inflict casualties on samaritans, onlookers and first responders at the same site. This is a common tactic used by Jihadists around the globe. By taking out first responders, any subsequent blast makes authorities appear incompetent or helpless to protect or render aid to victims.
Sure enough, while the media was still reporting on the “twin blasts” in Thailand, a third blast occurred in the basement parking lot of a high-rise hotel (the Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel) in the nearby city of Hat Yai. At about the same time, a motorcycle bomb was detonated wounding a police officer.
This was clearly a coordinated, planned assault designed to instill fear in the population, make the Jihadis appear more formidable than they have been seen previously and cause chaos.
It is also probable that the attack failed in an apparent key goal. The fact that a car bomb was detonated in the basement of a high rise building is very reminiscent of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. That attack was designed to bring the twin towers down and most of the casualties it ended up causing were due to smoke inhalation. The same is evidently true of this attack in Thailand.
It is almost certain that the Jihadis meant to bring that building in Thailand down.
This was meant to be Thailand’s September 11th: a coordinated series of attacks with massive casualties. It is tragic that innocent people lost their lives and were injured, but it is likely that the attacks fell short of their goals and caused fewer casualties than they were intended to inflict.
Here are a few news reports on the attacks:
Bombs in southern Thailand kill eight, wound dozens; Muslim insurgents are suspected in three separate explosions
Twin blasts rock Thai city
South Thailand car bombs kill 14, injure 340; Region has seen years of militancy, thought to be aimed at securing a Muslim state
Bombs in Thailand kill 14, wound 340