Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Politics Hinders Investigation of Bangkok Explosion Incidents

Since before the massive rally of the red shirt people until today, more than 30 bombing incidents took place in Bangkok and its surrounding areas. The first bomb exploded in front of the Bangkok Bank's Silom branch. Although the society has become acquainted with the reports on daily blasts, the intimidating methodologies, particularly the use of M79 grenade launcher, employed by the perpetrators is quite worrisome from the perspective of national security.

Major Causes
The horrifying characteristics of the destructive incidents recorded by specialized officials can be analyzed as follows:

1. The perpetrators had no intention of killing or causing extensive violence. The resounding blasts were aimed at achieving a political result one way or another.

2. The attacks were well and thoroughly planned with each step carried out be different individuals. Hence, it is rather difficult to trace the path back to the mastermind.

3. The recruitment of perpetrators and procurement of weapons and vehicles for crime commitment were systematically made. The perpetrators were probably kept in safe houses before being sent out to commit their crimes.

4. The perpetrators must have teams for surveying routes, especially the expressways and ramp roads on which the traffic flows nonstop. Ironically, no evidence of crime has been made available from the close circuit cameras installed along such special roads

5. The perpetrators must possess high skills in using firearms. In most cases, it is believed that the M79 grenade launchers were fired from driving vehicles. Clear examples can be seen from the M79 grenade attacks at the 1st Infantry Regiment and head office of the Democrat Party on its founding anniversary on 6 April.

Suspected Locations
Experts assumed that the M79 grenade that hit the Democrat Party's head office was fired from two locations. The first suspected location is the parking lot on the building of Wichaiyut Hospital. However, the distance is too short for the grenade to spiral enough to explode. Therefore, the possibility is that the grenade was fired from the nearby expressway.

It was amazing to find out that if the grenade was fired from the elevated expressway, it must fly to the target through an empty space of only one block of building and over a few obstacles including a sound absorption wall. This shows that the grenade firer must be excellently skillful.

Moreover, the culprits must have known about the operational limitations of the close circuit cameras installed on the expressway which are used mainly for traffic monitoring, not for crime suppression.

According to the report from a security unit on the investigation into the M79 grenade attack the First Infantry Regiment, police authorities had to check the photos from the close circuit cameras of as many as 40 vehicles suspected to be used by the culprits. The vehicles were legally registered and have no crime records.

The conclusion at this moment is that the perpetrators must have intelligence and are associated with 'people in uniforms,' both military and police, because they know and have information about the police security management and investigation systems. Important to note is that the people pull the strings behind the curtain must have power and work from a war room with considerable amount of financial resource because each operation is quite costly.

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