The producers of the YouTube video with a clear death threat to ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra are from the group in this country seeking to overthrow him, Paradorn Pattanathabutr, secretary general of the National Security Council, said yesterday.
The 2:45-minute video entitled “Al-Qaeda video against former Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.” was uploaded on Friday, Thaksin’s birthday. It showed men dressed like Middle Easterners speaking in Arabic and English. They threatened to kill Thaksin for the Krue Se Mosque massacre in 2004.
Thaksin has been visiting Hong Kong and has been informed about the video.
Paradorn said the video was not the work of the al-Qaeda because this Muslim organisation had never got involved with the Muslim separatist movement in the deep South. Besides, other videos with death threats did not reveal the face of the tormentor like this one did.
The anti-Thaksin group launched this video to convey ill wishes to Thaksin on his birthday. It was released from abroad so tracing the source is difficult. The posters wanted anti-Thaksin groups to publicise it through mainstream and social media, he said.
Attempts have been made to severe ties between Thailand and Malaysia, where the video was speculated as originating from, because Thaksin and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak had strong ties. The video was also intended to sabotage the peace dialogue between Thailand and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional, he said.
Colonel Banpot Poonpien, spokesman for the Internal Security Operations Command, played down the video, saying it would not derail the plan to curb violence in the South. Al-Qaeda had never supported a Muslim rebellion in the deep South so it was impossible that the group would have any link.
No other groups have claimed responsibility or support for the southern insurgency, he said.
Anusorn Iamsa-ard, deputy spokesman for the ruling Pheu Thai Party, said the video was just a ploy of a group to create rifts and political turmoil. The Yingluck administration has delivered the right policies to restore peace in the restless region, he said.
Security officials have found that the poster has a residence in Malaysia and “mansoor ahmed” is the name of a vice president for strategy and communications at the Volvo car company in the Malaysian state of Selangor.
Officials have yet to confirm whether the YouTube account was used without the registered hold?er’s knowledge.