Web watch targets 50 sites with South, ISIS links

Web watch targets 50 sites with South, ISIS links

No sign yet of jihadis instigating violence

Security agencies employ teams of 'cyber scouts' to scour the networks looking for banned content, including sites like this ISIS website that might have connections to Thailand. (File photo)
Security agencies employ teams of 'cyber scouts' to scour the networks looking for banned content, including sites like this ISIS website that might have connections to Thailand. (File photo)

Authorities are keeping a close watch on around 50 websites with alleged links to the Islamic State (IS) for possible connections with violence in the restive South, a senior police officer said Tuesday.

Speaking after chairing a meeting on transnational terrorism with senior officials from the Australian Federal Police, deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said about 50 websites are suspected of having ties with terrorists in the deep South.

He said these 50 websites are among 200,000 with alleged links to the IS militant group and he will assign the Royal Thai Police's Special Branch Bureau and other security agencies to investigate them further.

According to Pol Gen Srivara, the Australian officials at the meeting revealed that the number of IS-linked websites worldwide increased from 100,000 last year to more than 200,000 this year.

Pol Gen Srivara, who is in charge of national security operations, said while the number of IS-affiliated websites has doubled, concerned agencies do not believe any have instigated violence in the restive provinces in the South.

Tuesday's meeting involved the Bangkok Regional Cooperation Team (BRCT) and focused on transnational terrorism. It was also attended by Glen McEwen, a senior official from the Australian Federal Police.

Meanwhile, four people including two schoolchildren were injured when a small bomb exploded near a school in Yala's Yaha district Tuesday morning, local authorities said.

The roadside bomb weighing about 2 kilogrammes went off about 50 metres from Seyor School in tambon Ba-ngoisinae at 7.35am, wounding defence volunteer Thawee Luebaeluwong, 45 and Suwaiba Arlaeekahae, 40, a civilian.

Two schoolgirls were slightly injured.

Police cordoned off the blast site to allow an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team to investigate and collect evidence.

The blast partly damaged a nearby power pole and left pieces of metal and other bomb fragments scattered over the area.

According to EOD officers, the bomb was a homemade device and was detonated by a radio signal.

The bomb went off when Mr Thawee, a member of a motorcycle team assigned to provide security for teachers, was passing by.

Ms Suwaiba and her daughter were injured as they were heading to the school on a motorcycle. The other young girl was hurt as she was walking to school.

Local authorities said the explosion was likely the work of southern insurgents and it was likely carried out by one of two groups active in the district.

One is allegedly led by Ubaideela Romlee and the other by Ahamateu-nga.

In nearby Pattani province, an assistant village head was shot dead at a food shop near a mosque in Muang district about 8.30pm on Monday.

Samai Talormeeyae, 51, was murdered by two men on a motorcycle. The pillion rider fired three shots, hitting him in the head and body, said Pol Lt Watchara Wansantia, a duty officer at Muang police station.

Police were investigating the shooting.

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