Breathless in Bangkok

28 07 2013

It was Thaksin Shinawatra’s birthday on 26 July. Almost immediately, a video was posted at YouTube purporting to be Al-Qaeda and threatening to hunt down Thaksin and assassinate him.

PPT saw one of the first versions of this, sent to us by erstwhile yellow shirt correspondents. They were breathless with excitement, apparently believing the video to be real – and they pointed to “Indian accents” as evidence of authenticity. PPT looked at it and within seconds saw that it was a fake, probably concocted by some of the anti-Thaksin lot. After all, while Thaksin’s record on the South is horrendous, “Al-Qaeda” is hardly likely to have waited almost a decade of birthdays to suddenly decide to hunt down Thaksin.

Yesterday, Khaosod carried a report, and immediately noted that it “was circulated widely by anti-government social network users for a while,” The report explained:

Lt.Gen. Paradorn Pattanatabutr, secretary-general of the National Security Council, told Khaosod that the “amateurish” video is clearly not a work of Al-Qaeda or any other Islamist organization.

“The people who made this clip are no other than the same group who want to overthrow Mr. Thaksin,” Lt.Gen. Paradorn declared.

Not to be outdone for breathlessness, however, the Bangkok Post managed three stories on the video today (here, here and here). One of these was “breaking news, ” but even so, the Post was over the top in its excitement. The first report included two screen captures from the video and precious little information that suggested that this was a fake threat. It did begin to explain the source of the video when it stated:

The first upload to YouTube was removed after a few hours with the notice: “This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube’s policy on violence”…. It appeared again from a different uploader several hours after that…. The second upload of the video also was removed…. But the anti-Thaksin posters played tag with YouTube. Early Sunday, a third version of the video was also posted on YouTube, with a Thai-language soundtrack played over the original…. It also was taken down by YouTube after a short time. It was uploaded again at mid-morning Sunday.

The second report also fails to state the video was a fake and referred to Thaksin’s supposed reaction. Only in the third report is Paradorn reported:

A video posted on YouTube making death threats against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is a fake and was done by members of the anti-government white-mask group, National Security Council secretary-general Paradorn Pattanatabut said on Sunday.

PPT has no evidence that the white mask lot are involved, but the anti-Thaksin lot are probably responsible for the bogus video. We can’t help thinking that the Post was kind of hoping it was the real thing.


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23 10 2013
Protesting? | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] the self-proclaimed Islamic militant organization founded by Osama bin Laden. Maybe this is the lot that claimed to be seeking to assassinate Thaksin Shinawatra  in a bogus video a few months ago. That video, so obviously a childish fake, managed to get the […]

23 10 2013
Protesting? | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] the self-proclaimed Islamic militant organization founded by Osama bin Laden. Maybe this is the lot that claimed to be seeking to assassinate Thaksin Shinawatra  in a bogus video a few months ago. That video, so obviously a childish fake, managed to get the […]




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