Uighur Group Claims China Bus Attacks, Threatens Olympics

A Uighur separatist group has taken credit for a deadly bus bombing in Shanghai in May and warned of new attacks in China during the Olympics, a group monitoring threats by extremists on the Internet said.

Workers clean up at the scene of an explosion and fire on a bus in Shanghai on May 5. A Uighur separatist group has taken credit for a deadly bus bombing in Shanghai in May and warned of new attacks in China during the Olympics, a group monitoring terror threats on the Internet said(AFP/File/Mark Ralston)

In a video statement, Commander Seyfullah of the Turkestan Islamic Party claimed credit for several attacks, including the May 5 Shanghai bus bombing which killed three; another Shanghai attack; an attack on police in Wenzhou on July 17 using an explosive-laden tractor; a bombing of a Guangzhou plastic factory on July 17; and bombings of three buses in Yunnan province on July 21.

Three people were killed as a result of the explosion on the crowded bus in Shanghai on May 5, police and witnesses said.

The incident occurred during the morning traffic rush hour in northwest Shanghai and also left 12 people injured.

At the time, authorities attributed the blast to flammable materials carried by a passenger.

But Seyfullah said the blast was the work of his group and warned of more explosions to come.

"Through this blessed jihad in Yunnan this time, the Turkestan Islamic Party warns China one more time," Seyfullah says in the video dated July 23, according to a transcript from the Washington-based Intel Center.

"Our aim is to target the most critical points related to the Olympics. We will try to attack Chinese central cities severely using the tactics that have never been employed," he continues.

According to global intelligence analysts Stratfor, the Turkestan Islamic Party is another name used by the Islamic Party of East Turkestan (ETIM), an ethnic Uighur and Muslim separatist group seeking to create an independent state out of China's westernmost, heavily Muslim Xinjiang province.

The United States, China and other countries have designated ETIM a terrorist group.

On June 27, Seyfullah released a five-page statement, citing a long list of grievances against the Chinese government and calling for attacks on the Olympic Games and other targets in China.

The statement said the use of biological weapons would be permissible and that suicide bombers were ready and willing to carry out operations throughout the world.

"After receiving the order, asking Allah's continual help in this matter, the military commander has made the order to all brothers and sisters in every corner of the world, to move to the action phase," Seyfullah argued. "These brothers and sisters have been waiting for the order and these brothers and sisters are volunteers who would commit suicide bombing when it is time for it."

The separatist leader went on to urge attacks on Chinese officials, declaring readiness to kill the top leaders, soldiers, police, prison wardens, and accomplices."

Source: AFP

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