Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Does a map of Bangkok bomb sites hold clues as to who is responsible?

Who is responsible for the bombings in Bangkok? Perhaps the strongest arguments favoring a "rogue element" hypothesis is Crispin's point (excerpt posted here) that not all of the targts were utilised to cause maximum casualties. A further point made by Bangkok Pundit has been on my mind lately: "The same is true for the southern border provinces where the terrorists are terrorising people by showing them the ability to attack anywhere with coordinate bombs at anytime." Is this not a defining characteristic of attacks carried out in the South of Thailand?

Singapore's Staights Times published a very good map yesterday showing the bomb sites in Bangkok, differentiating the two waves of bombings and showing the locations of undetonated explosive devices.

What strikes me when I look at this map is how many times in daily Bangkok life a person might pass by any number of the bomb sites. It would be hard to go about one's life in Bangkok -- certainly as a typical foreigner -- without from time to time one passing by one or several of the targeted locations. In my own case, one bomb (#3 on the map) went off two blocks from my old apartment building, another undetonated device was found a block from my old guest house on Khao San (#9), and another device was found at a shopping complex I frequented (#8). The intent of the bombers may very well have been to send the message that nowhere in Bangkok will anyone -- whether local or foreigner -- feel safe. "We can get you anywhere" could well be what the terrorists intended to signal with this attack. This also seems to be the signature message of the Islamic terrorists of Southern Thailand, and Baghdad too, for that matter.

An interactive satelite map indicating bomb sites can be found here.

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