FAR EAST CORRESPONDENT — The nature of terrorism is shifting. As a strategy favored by Islamic militants and separatists this nasty and virulent type of civilian-focused warfare had dominated the security landscape across Southeast Asia for much of the last decade. But as jihad groups likes Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT) are routed, and the likes of the Abu Sayyaf are contained, other outfits with foreign agendas are stepping into the breach.
Their differences were highlighted in two capitals over the last fortnight; in Jakarta where the last if the Bali bombers has gone on trial, and in Bangkok where a trail of tragic errors had unwittingly led Thai police to an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate Israeli diplomats on Thai territory.
Speculation has firmed that the motive behind the botched plot – dubbed the Valentine’s Day Bombings – is linked to Israel’s well-publicized alleged assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists.