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Thai Islamists get cash bonus for car bombs

April 9, 2012

Muslim fanatics in southern Thailand are getting one million bahts (over 30,000 USD) as a bonus for their IED attacks.  The group receiving the bonuses is probably the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), a network that began advocating Islamic socialism in the 1960s, but now appears to be just another militant Islamist front.

From yesterday’s Bangkok Post with a h/t to Rantburg.:

Bombers on B1 million incentives

Separatist militants who make car bombs and launch successful attacks in the deep South receive a one-million-baht bonus for their work, a southern intelligence agency says.

A source at the agency, who asked not to be named, said on Sunday the militants would go to the Thai-Malaysian border to receive their wages. But he refused to name the location or who was paying the reward.

The source said there was only one insurgent group active in the three southern border provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala, plus four districts of Songkhla, including Chana, Na Thawi, Saba Yoi and Thepha — the separatist Barasi Revolusi Nasional (BRN).

The group was led by Masae U-seng, a long-time key suspect in the sectarian violence in the region, and Sapae-ing Basor, the former principal of Thamawittaya Foundation School in Yala.

Security authorities early this week said Mr Masae was the mastermind behind last Saturday’s bombing at Hat Yai that left three died and hundreds of others injured. Intelligence reports indicate Mr Masae had sent insurgents from Narathiwat and Yala to pose as businessmen to gather information in Hat Yai to prepare for another attack.

The Police Operations Centre for the Southern Border Provinces has issued a warning to authorities and the public to look for five stolen pickup trucks that could be used in more car bomb attacks.

The source said the Pattani United Liberation Organisation (Pulo) was one of the groups calling for a free and independent Pattani in the international political arena and had a role in seeking funds for the southern separatist movement. The group has offices in Sweden and Germany and acts as a middleman in negotiations, he added.

 

The BRN is financially active.  Pattaya Today offered this background last year.  According to the report, BRN gets some zakat funding from Islamic NGOs and enforces “protection payments” (jizya) against local residents and rubber plantation owners:

An umbrella insurgent group in the deep South spent more than 85 million baht on violent actions last year, an intelligence source in the Region 4 Internal Security Operations Command says.

The source said spending by the Barasi Revolusi Nasional (BRN) last year had been assessed by the intelligence unit and amounted to more than 85 million baht. The money came from contributions by drug trafficking rings, local businesses, individual residents and local government agencies.

Residents in certain areas were required to pay one baht protection fee a day, while owners of para rubber plantations were required to pay a 3,000 baht protection fee each month, the source said.

The BRN even has a revenue department. It keeps part of the money for activities in the provinces with the rest going to the group’s headquarters. The core leaders also sought financial support from non-profit organisations in Europe and other countries.

Donations from non-profit organisations was intended to support Islamic education in some pondok schools, but the BRN had managed to get a share of the money and spend it on insurgent activities.

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