Bangkok – Thai Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra is seeking cooperation from Indonesia and Malaysia to capture the masterminds of the Muslim insurgency inSouthern Thailand.
It is believed that one suspect is in Indonesia and the other two in Malaysia. According to Mr Thaksin, ‘insurgent leaders were using Malaysia as a safe haven (a claim hotly disputed by Kuala Lumpur), and some may have received combat training at Muslim schools in Indonesia’ (ST, 12 Feb).
Security forces in Thailand also claimed that “militants have turned to using unregistered Malaysian SIM cards, which can receive signals on Thai soil in areas close to the border. Thai officials have urged Malaysia to ask its phone operators to weaken their signals near border areas’ (IHT, 10 Feb) as mobile phones have been used to trigger and detonate bombs.
PM Thaksin expressed optimism in KL and Jakarta’s help in arresting the insurgents. “The cooperation with the neighboring countries in chasing the key suspects behind the violence in the three provinces is making good progress…we know all those people and are talking to authorities in those countries.” Thaksin said in a weekly radio address. He was in the Yala province to give moral support to teachers who are often the targets in attacks.
According to the Royal Thai Police, Doramae Kutey is the most wanted suspect for the violence with five million baht (US$127,000) as a reward for his arrest.Malaysia had earlier handed over a suspected militant wanted by the Thai government.
In another un-related story, the Indonesian police announced the arrest of another Islamic militant with suspected links to a Southeast Asian terror group in the town of Poso.
Thai rebel chiefs ‘hiding in Indonesia and Malaysia’, The Straits Times, 12 Feb
Thailand seeks Jakarta, KL help to capture key suspects, The Jakarta Post, 11 Feb
Southern bombings continue despite security measures, International Herald Tribune, 10 Feb
Militant linked to Southeast Asia terror held, Jakarta Post, 12 Feb