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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-10-2008, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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Its getting bigger by the day and I cant see it getting less

BEIJING - China said Thursday it had uncovered a criminal ring planning to kidnap athletes and others at the Beijing Olympic Games

Thirty-five members of a ring based in the restive western Xinjiang region were arrested, Ministry of Public Security Spokesman Wu Heping told a news conference.

"We face a real terrorist threat," Wu said. The arrests took place between March 26 and April 6, he said.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror hijackings, China has tried to portray the simmering separatist rebellion in Xinjiang as being fueled by terrorist organizations in Central Asia and the Middle East. But evidence made public has been scarce.

Western embassies asked Beijing for more information after authorities said they broke up an attempt to hijack a plane in western China last month but so far no evidence has been provided, diplomats have said.

On Thursday, Wu said the ring was plotting to kidnap athletes, foreign journalists and other visitors to the August Games. He added that police had also confiscated almost 22 pounds of explosives and eight sticks of dynamite and "jihadist" literature in the latest raids in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang.

Wu also provided further details on a second group arrested in January, alleging they had been manufacturing explosives and were plotting to attack hotels, government offices and military targets in Shanghai, Beijing and other cities.

Wu said the gang had been acting on orders from a radical Islamic Xinjiang independence group, East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

While the United States has labeled the East Turkestan Islamic Movement a terrorist organization, the State Department alleges widespread abuses of the legal and educational systems by the communist authorities to suppress Uighur culture and religion.


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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-10-2008, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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There is more:
"terrorist" plot to kidnap Olympians By Ian Ransom
1 hour, 35 minutes ago

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese authorities have detained 45 East Turkestan "terrorist" suspects, and foiled plots to carry out suicide bomb attacks and kidnap athletes to disrupt the Beijing Olympics, a police spokesman said on Thursday.


Uighur militants have been agitating to establish an independent East Turkestan in China's predominantly Muslim northwestern region of Xinjiang bordering Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Chinese authorities cracked two "terrorist" groups, one of which belonged to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Ministry of Public Security spokesman Wu Heping told a news conference in Beijing.

ETIM was listed by the United Nations as a terrorist group in 2002 and has links to Al Qaeda.

The group asked its members to do trial runs using poisoned meat, poison gas and remote control explosive devices, Wu said.

Their aim was "to create an international incident with the goal of disrupting the Olympic Games," the spokesman said.

The first group, led by Aji Muhammat, bought explosive materials and carried out 13 test explosions, Wu said without giving the nationality of the ringleader.

Suspects in custody confessed they were ordered to commit suicide if arrested, he said.

Police detained 10 suspects and seized 16,000 yuan ($2,300) in cash and a large quantity of "Holy War" training materials, Wu said. Several other suspects are on the run.

At the end of last year, the group ordered its members to enter China and had planned to be ready by April to carry out "terrorist" activities starting from May in Beijing and Shanghai, using explosives and poison, the spokesman said.

In the second case, authorities detained 35 people, seized 9.51 kg (21 lb) of explosives, eight detonators and some "Holy War" propaganda material, Wu said, adding that the group had planned to kidnap foreign journalists, tourists and athletes.

The second group also planned to carry out suicide bomb attacks in Xinjiang's regional capital Urumqi and other cities in China, the spokesman said.

It had been secretly recruiting people "willing to sacrifice their lives for Jihad," or holy war, Wu said.

"We are facing a real terrorist threat. All walks of life and the public should maintain a high degree of vigilance," the spokesman added.

Oil-rich Xinjiang is home to 8 million Uighurs -- a Turkic, largely Islamic people who share linguistic and cultural bonds with Central Asia. Many resent the growing presence and economic grip of Han Chinese.

Rights groups have said the Chinese government is using its support for the U.S.-led "War on Terror" to crack down on Turkic-speaking Uighurs.

Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, a Germany-based exile group that seeks independence for the region, said Uighurs had never supported terrorism.

"These accusations are based on ulterior motives. We demand that the United Nations establish an investigation body to enter East Turkestan and see whether there are any so-called terrorists," Raxit said.

Last month China foiled a bid to cause an air disaster on a passenger jet en route to Beijing from Urumqi and the plane made a safe emergency landing.

In January 2007, Chinese forces killed 18 people described as terrorists in a gun battle in Xinjiang. One policeman was killed and another wounded in the raid on a training camp in the mountains of the Pamirs plateau in southern Xinjiang.

(Writing by Benjamin Kang Lim; Editing by Ken Wills and Jerry Norton)

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People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf - George Orwell
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