March 27, 2004, 2005 and 2009: Attacks in southern Thailand

On this day in 2004, 2005 and 2009 Islamist terrorists in southern Thailand carried out three separate attacks, wounding dozens.

SOUTHERN THAILAND – Anniversaries and other significant dates are often picked for important events: does this include terrorist attacks?

We are creatures of habit, aren’t we? We drive the same route to work most days. We arrange our clothes in the closet a certain way. We frequent the same restaurants, the same coffee shops, the same grocery stores.

Maybe that is because it is easier than constantly changing things up. Yes, ‘variety is the spice of life’, or so they say, but it takes effort. Much easier to always do the same old same old, no?

Dates also have an effect on us. Birthdays. Anniversaries (weddings, engagements, first job, graduations…). Significant events in world history.

Then there is March 27. According to Google, the single greatest repository of ALL knowledge, that day is: National Scribble Day. National Spanish Paella Day. Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day. And Take Your Parents to the Playground Day. There are probably more.

It also happens to be the day in three different years when Islamist terrorists in southern Thailand carried out attacks.

On this day in 2004, 2005 and 2009

  • A bomb blast outside a bar in southern Thailand near the Malaysian border injured about 30 people in 2004;
  • Terrorists used two bombs to stop an armoured train patrolling in the south and fired on the policemen who were travelling by the train, injuring some 20 as well as civilians;
  • Six Thai soldiers were injured in an explosion and subsequent gunfire in 2009 in Yala.

Why Southern Thailand? That country’s three southernmost provinces, Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani – became part of Thailand only in the early 20th Century. Many of the residents are Muslim and speak a Malay dialect, in contrast with most Thais, who are Buddhist and speak Thai. There has been a low level insurrection for decades, as I discussed at length in my third book The Lesser Jihads.

Why March 27? I have no idea. Does anyone? If so, please enlighten me and my readers – thanks!

Read More Today in Terrorism

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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