Convoluted fuse to Bangkok bombs – atimes.com, February 24, 2012
…It remains to be seen, however, how aggressively the Thai authorities – perennially reluctant to be dragged into the maelstrom of Middle Eastern conflict – will choose to pursue the investigations or request assistance from Tehran. In the final analysis, Thailand has little to gain and possibly much to lose from establishing publicly and with certainty either the innocence or guilt of the Iranian government.
Indeed, the best pointer to the affair’s likely outcome is the fate of Atris Hussein, the Lebanese-Swedish businessman with suspected links to Iran-allied Lebanese Hezbollah, whose January arrest was followed by the seizure of four tons of explosives he and his associates had amassed in a warehouse on the edge of Bangkok. Hussein is to be charged with possession of restricted substances and may serve a few years in a Thai jail in a case that will soon be quietly forgotten.
Bomb plot shows Thailand’s security gaps – news24.com, February 23, 2012
…”There has been so much disarray in Thai politics and Thailand’s political class has been so focused on other things that having a serious discussion on matters like security hasn’t been possible,” said Michael Montesano, a research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.
Thailand’s national police “has capable people aware of threats to foreign targets on Thai soil”, he said.
“But like members of bureaucracies anywhere they face big challenges in terms of co-ordination with other parts of the government,” Montesano said.
“We need someone to move beyond this state of denial and take real leadership. If recent events prove a wake-up call for the Thais to evolve capacities, it would be a blessing in disguise.”
Was Bangkok Just the Start? – the-diplomat.com, February 23, 2012
…Ultimately, analysts see more strikes aimed at civilians, not unlike the 2008 Mumbai attack that left 257 dead and another 700 wounded. However, such strikes will be increasingly based around far-flung reasons with little local relevance, such as with Iran’s nuclear program and its ties with Hezbollah.
Boyd predicts more Mumbai-style attacks in Asia, and says Sabah in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are obvious staging grounds…