When these bombings took place, initial reports attributed them to the jihadists in southern Thailand. I posted a story to that effect here. Then later the current Prime Minister of Thailand, a Muslim, blamed them on his predecessor, whom he had removed from office in a coup. I noted this in an update to the story, and later took it down altogether since the incident didn’t seem jihad-related — which didn’t stop the flood of “You rushed to judgment” emails from coming in from those who feel threatened by this site, despite the fact that in both the original posting and the update I had simply reported what was in the wire service reports.
Anyway, it looks as if those who “rushed to judgment” were correct: Thai intelligence has uncovered a link to Jemaah Islamiah. “Bangkok bombings the work of JI,” by Ron Corben in The Australian, with thanks to JE:
THAI intelligence agencies say operatives of the regional terror network Jemaah Islamiah were directly involved in the New Year’s Eve bombings in the Thai capital that left three dead and 40 wounded.
In reports seen by The Weekend Australian, the agencies say a key JI leader in Thailand’s southern Narathiwat province was directly involved in the planning of the operation. The link contradicts earlier comments by military-installed Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont who said the bombings appeared to be unrelated to the violence in the south, which has claimed more than 1800 lives since early 2004.
“From the evidence we have gathered, there is a slim chance that it is related to the southern insurgency,” Mr Surayud said in the early hours of New Year’s Day soon after the bloodshed.
“It is likely related to people who lost political benefits,” he said, referring to the former Thaksin Shinawatra administration that was ousted in a coup in September amid allegations of corruption and abuse of power and fears of street clashes.
In an interview with CNN this week, Mr Thaksin, who is now living in exile, denied any involvement with the attacks.
No group has claimed responsibility for the bombings.
The eight bombs, set in crowded tourist areas that left at least seven foreigners among the wounded, cast a pall over the city that had largely escaped violence in a year of political turmoil.
However, Thai intelligence reports draw a direct link with the southern insurgency, including JI.