Pulo operative funded attacks in 5 provinces

July 15, 2012

The media often use the term “extortion” in cases such as these, while the jihadist offenders view it as zakat when it is taken from fellow Muslims and jizya when taken from non-Muslims.  The Islamists regard the extortion as a legitimate tax pursuant with the Koran rather than white collar crime that elites perceive it to be.

This particular jihadist spared himself from the gallows for financing terrorism and stockpiling weapons by cooperating with the authorities in Thailand.  From the Bangkok Post on June 27:

Pulo separatist gets life sentence

The Appeals Court on Wednesday sentenced a member of the Pattani United Liberation Organisation (Pulo), a separatist movement, to life in prison, reversing the Criminal Court’s decision to drop all charges against him.

Koseng, or Useng, Cheloh (Photo by Surapol Promsaka na Sakolnakorn)

Prosecutors indicted Koseng, or Useng, Cheloh, a Pulo member, on charges of rebellion and illegal assembly of weapons and men to conduct terrorist activities with the aim being to separate five southern border provinces from the kingdom.

The court was told that between 1968 and Feb 10, 1998 Koseng and other Pulo members had recruited Muslim people into the separatist movement, extorted protection money from businessmen in the five southern border provinces and used the money to set up armed units to conduct terrorist activities, including attacks on government installations, destroying rail tracks with bombs and burning down bridges and schools, causing extensive damage and a large number of casualties.

The Criminal Court on Dec 1, 2008 dismissed the case against Koseng on the grounds that evidence against him was doubtful. The state appealed.

The Appeals Court today reversed the Criminal Court’s decision and sentenced Koseng to death.

The death sentence was commuted to life on the grounds that his testimony was useful.

On Tuesday morning, eight military rangers and six civilians were wounded by a bomb blast on a road in Narathiwat’s Tak Bai district. An assistant village headman was also shot dead in an ambush at Ban Luemu in Yala’s Krong Pinang district.

On Monday night, three men were shot dead in Pattani’s Kapho district by a group of men weating in military-style camouflage uniforms.

More than 5,000 people have been killed and over 8,400 injured in the three southernmost provinces and four districts of Songkhla since violence erupted in January 2004, according to Deep South Watch, an agency that monitors the conflict in the southern border provinces.



  1. The practice of Islam was concentrated in Thailand’s southernmost provinces, where the vast majority of the country’s Muslims, predominantly Malay in origin, were found. The remaining Muslims were Pakistani immigrants in the urban centers, ethnic Thai in the rural areas of the Center, and a few Chinese Muslims in the far north. Education and maintenance of their own cultural traditions were vital interests of these groups. Except in the small circle of theologically trained believers, the Islamic faith in Thailand, like Buddhism, had become integrated with many beliefs and practices not integral to Islam. It would be difficult to draw a line between animistic practices indigenous to Malay culture that were used to drive off evil spirits and local Islamic ceremonies because each contained aspects of the other. In the mid-1980s, the country had more than 2,000 mosques in 38 Thai provinces, with the largest number (434) in Narathiwat Province. All but a very small number of the mosques were associated with the Sunni branch of Islam. The remainder were of the Shia branch. Each mosque had an imam (prayer leader), a muezzin (who issued the call to prayer), and perhaps other functionaries. Although the majority of the country’s Muslims were ethnically Malay, the Muslim community also included the Thai Muslims, who were either hereditary Muslims, Muslims by intermarriage, or converts. Also in Thailand were Cham Muslims originally from Cambodia; West Asians, including both Sunni and Shias; South Asians, including Tamils, Punjabis and Bengalis; Indonesians, especially Javanese and Minangkabau; Thai-Malay or people of Malay ethnicity who have accepted many aspects of Thai language and culture, except Buddhism, and had intermarried with Thai; and Chinese Muslims, who were mostly Haw living in the North.

    • This is a good, basic summary. I think it lacks one important note: All the Muslims outside the three-and-a-half southern provinces directly involved have NO sympathy, no truck, no support for the gangs that use Islam in their violence in the South. There is not a shred of support for them in any other part of Thailand, including in the mosques. The “Muslim rebellion” in the South of Thailand happens to involve Muslims but it is far more a criminal event (think northern Mexico), with some politics involved, and has very little Islamic value to anyone – and certainly not to the other Thai Muslims from right beside these rebellions (the resort province of Phuket, say) all the way to the far North and the Golden Triangle. Wherever you go there are Muslims, and wherever you go there is NO support for the gangs of the deep South.

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