The Tak Bai incident, viewed by many as a strategic blunder on the part of the Thai military, has been instrumental in turning "unarmed sympathizers into brutal insurgents," Phasuk said.
"This man (Chantrawadee) survived torture at Tak Bai and many of the new generation of commanders also survived Tak Bai."
Certainly if leaflets found in Narathiwat's Bacho district on February 14, the day following last week's attack, are anything to go by, the insurgency is showing no signs of easing.
"We will retaliate in every way for our losses. ... From now on, we will attack and kill Buddhist Thai teachers and Buddhist Thai people. We will attack Buddhist Thai community...One Muslim life must be repaid with 10 Buddhist Thai lives," reads the leaflets according to HRW.
One of the features of the campaign, which has had a marked escalation since last March, is that insurgents have shown little regard for Muslims that they see as collaborating with Thai authorities.
Everyone from imams to Muslim rubber farmers has been targeted by death squads and bombs detonated in Thai ethnic areas have indiscriminately claimed Muslim lives.
"The new radical leadership has no problems with collateral victims in its campaign. Their attitude is that Muslims should not be living next to ethnic Thais anyway," Phasuk said.
Amnesty International's latest report on the armed conflict called on insurgents to halt the campaign of targeting civilians.
"The insurgents seem to be attacking many of the very people on whose behalf they are ostensibly fighting, destroying their lives and livelihoods," said Donna Guest, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific deputy director, at the 2011 release of the report.
"Whatever their grievances, they do not justify this serious and systematic violation of international law."
Human Rights Watch said that while insurgents use human rights abuses by the Thai military as an excuse for its reprisals, Bangkok -- where the government has a long tradition of drawing its legitimacy through the army -- needed the political courage to hold the military accountable.
"If this had happened, it may have slowed down radicalization," Phasuk said.