Although low-level separatist violence had occurred in the region for decades, the campaign escalated after 2001, with a recrudescence in 2004, and has occasionally spilled over into other provinces.In July 2005, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra assumed wide-ranging emergency powers to deal with the southern violence, but the insurgency escalated further.By 1959, Tengku Jalal Nasir established the Patani National Liberation Front (BNPP), the first Malay rebel group.The last third of the 20th century saw the emergence of different insurgent groups in the south.It sees no reason for negotiations and is against talks with other insurgent groups.The BRN-C has as its immediate aim to make southern Thailand ungovernable and it has largely been successful.On 19 September 2006, a military junta ousted Thaksin Shinawatra in a coup.The junta implemented a major policy shift by replacing Thaksin's earlier approach with a campaign to win over the "hearts and minds" of the insurgents.
Around 2004 some Thai analysts believed that foreign Islamic terrorist groups were infiltrating the area, and that foreign funds and arms are being brought in, though again, such claims were balanced by an equally large body of opinion suggesting this remains a distinctly local conflict.
Other tactics used to gain publicity from shock and horror are slashing to death Buddhist monks, bombing temples, beheadings, intimidating pork vendors and their customers, as well as arson attacks on schools, killing the teachers —mostly female— and burning their bodies.
Current insurgent groups proclaim militant jihadism and are not separatist any more.
In July the same year, the chairman of the Narathiwat Islamic Committee admitted, "The attacks look like they are well-organised, but we do not know what group of people is behind them." Despite of the shroud of anonymity and the absence of concrete demands, revived groups, such as the GMIP, and particularly the BRN-Coordinate and its alleged armed wing, the Runda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK), have been identified as leading the new insurgency.
While earlier attacks were typified by drive-by shootings in which patrolling policemen were shot by gunmen on passing motorcycles, after 2001 they have escalated to well-coordinated attacks on police establishments, with police stations and outposts ambushed by well-armed groups subsequently fleeing with stolen arms and ammunition.