Notable terrorist incidents in Thailand 1970-2007

This list is not exhaustive, but details the general character of terrorism (and attempted terrorism) in Thailand from 1970 to 2007. It does not include:

* Pre-1970 which was mainly the communist insurgency, highwaymen, and general banditry in the countryside (some of which persisted into the 1980s) along with coups and attempted coups.

* Regular, non-exceptional violence in the three Thai Deep South provinces of Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani.

* PAD and Red Shirt protests since 2007, particularly the well-documented 2009 and 2010 Red Shirt protests when there was widespread political violence engineered to cause the sitting government to step down. Incidents during this time included deaths by gunshots, arson, hostage taking, attacks on government officials, and the firing of M79 grenades.

* Political upheavals such as the popular uprising in 1973, the military backlash in 1976, the "Young Turks" failed coups in 1981 and 1985, and "Black May" 1991.

* Small-scale, late night "political intimidation bombings" not meant to inflict injury. These are a common Thai way of sending a message in garden-variety political and business disputes.

Notable terror incidents in Thailand 1970-2007

June 19, 1970
Three U.S. Embassy personnel killed by Communist insurgents in Chiang Mai.

August 31, 1972
A police lieutenant was accused of planting a bomb aboard a Cathay Pacific Airlines jet that later exploded, killing 81 people on board including the police lieutenant's girlfriend and daughter. The police lieutenant was later acquitted.

December 28, 1972
Arab terrorists storm the Israeli Embassy demanding the release of prisoners in Israel. Eventually the terrorists agree to end the siege and are flown to Cairo. The terrorists later admitted they picked the wrong day to storm the embassy as it distracted from the ceremonies confirming Prince Vajiralongkorn as Crown Prince.

June 17, 1973
A group of communists insurgents hijack a bus to Don Muang demanding to be flown to Moscow. Authorities later storm the bus and arrest the hijackers.

April 23, 1974
The Pattani Liberation Front kidnaps two female missionaries.

(Photo: Unknown - possibly from The Nation or Matichon)

Several bomb and grenade attacks against students protesting the government and U.S. policies. One attack originated from the roof of Siam Center shopping center (above).

February 16, 1977
Princess Vibhavadi was killed by communist insurgents who fired on her helicopter in Surat Thani Province.

December 26, 1978
Communist insurgents robbed a train in Surat Thani.

November 30, 1979
Four M-79 grenades were fired into U.S. Embassy compound on Wireless Road by unknown attackers.

March 30, 1981
Five Muslims extremists from Indonesian hijacked a Garuda airlines flight to Bangkok. Indonesian commandos were flown to Don Muang Airport where they stormed the plane, killing all five hijackers.

June 2, 1982
A Sri Lankan man hijacked an Alitalia airliner with 261 people on board to Bangkok. The plane was later flown to Colombo where the hijacker was taken into custody.

December 2, 1982
The Iraqi Consulate on Anuwang Road in Bangkok was destroyed by a bomb. Pol. Lt. Col. Surat Sumanas, the country's top bomb expert, was killed in the blast as he tried to disarm the bomb. He had earlier been denied funds to purchase modern bomb defusing equipment.

March 19, 1982
Communists insurgents blew up the Provincial Hall of Surat Thani province, killing 5.

February 15, 1983
A bomb goes off at the Iraqi Airlines office in Bangkok.

April 8, 1986
A bomb exploded at a hotel where U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger was to speak.

April 23, 1986
PULO was suspected to be behind the throwing of a small bomb into the U.S. consulate grounds in Songkhla.

July 25, 1990
A small bomb explodes at the Burmese Embassy.

October 18, 1990
A small bomb explodes at the Burmese Embassy.

November 9, 1990
Two Burmese hijack a Thai Airways jet to India.

October 18, 1992
The Myanmar Embassy is bombed. An army corporal is arrested. It is suspected the act was carried out to destabilize Thailand's new civilian government.

Several bombings in the Thai Deep South attributed to PULO.

March 11, 1994
In the most potentially disastrous incident in modern Thai times, a powerful ammonium nitrate truck bomb was foiled before it could be detonated at the Israeli Embassy. The driver was involved in a minor traffic accident on the way to the embassy, got nervous and ran off, abandoning the truck.

Several bombings in the Thai Deep South attributed to PULO.

January, 1999
A small bomb at Suthisarn Police Station, a minister's car attacked by motorcyclists wielding a pipe, constant bomb hoaxes--these were all typical dirty tricks that occur when the government and the opposition collide.
Opposition NAP leader Chavalit Yongchaiyudh made the infamous comment in Naew Na newspaper during this time that if he "blows a whistle, our land will go up in flames."

October 1, 1999
Five Burmese militants stormed the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok. The siege was later ended peacefully with charges that some foreigners in the embassy applying for visas ended up supporting the militants who were allegedly protesting the military junta in Rangoon.

January, 2000
Perhaps emboldened by the peacefully seizure of the Myanmar Embassy the previous October, 10 heavily armed Burmese storm Ratchaburi Hospital. They are later killed by Thai commandos.

Several bombings in the south attributed to Bersatu and other groups.

March 3, 2001
A bomb--reportedly made of Semtex--exploded on a Thai Airways International jet minutes before new Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was to board. Officials have tried to attribute the explosion to a spontaneous explosion in the gas tank of the plane, but most observers believe this was a bold attempt to assassinate Thaksin or the numerous other officials that were to board with him.

June, 2001
A U.S. citizen named Van Duc Vo is accused of trying to bomb the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangkok using a cell phone to detonate the bomb. The bombs did not go off.

December 5, 2001
An antitank rocket struck a Bangkok building housing the office of El Al Israel Airlines. Police believed the long-range antitank weapon was fired from the back of a black pickup truck at the Manorom Building on Rama IV Road. It is believed the attacker may have been targeting a Tesco supermarket which had received threats.

Several bombings in the Thai Deep South attributed to various groups.

April 9, 2002
Rival opposition groups in Mae Sot throw grenades at each other.

June, 2003
A member of the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah group was arrested in Bangkok for allegedly planning terrorist attacks on five embassies.

August, 2003
al-Qaida and Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist Hambali captured in Ayuthaya.

January 1, 2004
The beginning of an intensified insurgency/rebellion in the three border provinces in the Thai Deep South. It was initially characterized by motorcycle bombs and daily random shootings.

February 21, 2005
Thailand's first car bomb exploded in the tourist town of Sungai Kolok near the Malaysian border, killing five people and injuring more than 40. Thai officials have long been shy of admitting Thailand had a "car bomb" and usually insisted it was a bomb that happened to be in a car.

April 3, 2005
In an escalation of the violence in the Thai Deep South that started in January 2004, terrorists detonated bombs in Songkhla town at a Carrefour, the Hat Yai airport, and the GW Hotel.

During the time of protests against the Thaksin government, various small-scale intimidation bombings were conducted around Bangkok, including one near Privy Councilor Prem's residence that injured a foreigner.

August 25, 2006
Police foil an alleged car bomb plot against Prime Minister Thaksin near his residence.

September, 2007
Multiple bombings in Hat Yai, including one at an outdoor cafe on a crowed street, killing four including two foreigners.

December 31, 2006
Two waves of coordinated bombings around Bangkok killing 3 and injuring 20. These were the "New Year's Eve" bombings thought to be an attempt to topple the shaky junta.

April 10, 2007
Several phone booths damaged by a bomb near the Ratchayothin Major Cineplex in northern Bangkok.

May, 2007
In an escalation of the violence in the Thai Deep South, at least seven locations in Hat Yai are struck in a coordinated bombing.
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