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Terrorism in Southeast Asia: Thailand

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Terrorism in Southeast Asia: Thailand

Terrorism in Southeast Asia: Thailand

Terrorism in Southeast Asia: Thailand

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4857848/4857873" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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The most wanted man in Southeast Asia, an Indonesian terrorist known as Hambali (inset), was arrested in this apartment outside Bangkok two years ago. Hambali was operations chief for Jemaah Islamiyah and al Qaeda's point man in Southeast Asia. Michael Sullivan, NPR; Hambali Photo: © Reuters/Corbis hide caption

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Michael Sullivan, NPR; Hambali Photo: © Reuters/Corbis

Al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah operatives have moved through Thailand in the past decade. The porous border between southern Thailand and Malaysia makes it easy for terrorists to cross freely.

Meanwhile, the 18-month-old separatist insurgency in mainly Muslim southern Thailand, in which more than 900 people have died in the past year, has many worried. Analysts warn that foreigners from al Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiyah and similar groups could hijack the rebellion if the Thai government doesn't address the problem. This bodes ill not just for Thailand's tourism industry, but regional stability as a whole.

Michael Sullivan completes a three-part series on the fight against terrorism in Southeast Asia.