WASHINGTON (AFP) — A Muslim separatist group in China has made a new video threat against the Beijing Olympics, warning Muslims to keep their children away from the games, a US group that monitors extremists said Thursday.
The nearly six-minute video shows flames consuming a Beijing Olympics logo and an explosion over a venue for the competition, and features a masked, turbaned speaker clutching what appears to be an assault rifle.
The IntelCenter released a copy of the recording, attributed to the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), an ethnic Uighur and Muslim organization seeking to create an independent state out of China's heavily Muslim Xinjiang province.
The SITE Intelligence Group, meanwhile, translated some of the message, which was delivered in the language of the Uighurs, and said that the speaker identified himself as a TIP member and issued a threat against the Games.
The speaker urges Muslims to keep their children from the competition, and warns "Do not stay on the same bus, on the same train, on the same plane, in the same buildings, or any place the Chinese are," SITE said.
In July, the Washington-based IntelCenter said TIP had taken credit in another video statement for a deadly bus bombing in Shanghai in May and warned of new attacks in China during the Olympics.
In that recording, Commander Seyfullah of TIP 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 explosives-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 during the morning traffic rush hour in northwest Shanghai also injured 12 people.
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.
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.
Beijing is wary of ethnic Uighur Muslims living in Xinjiang, who maintain an ethnic identity distinct from the Chinese and have struggled to re-establish the independent state of East Turkestan since their homeland became part of China in 1955.
Rights bodies say the Chinese government is cracking down on them, under the pretext of fighting terrorism.
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