Al-Qaeda Declares War on China, Too

Discussion in 'China' started by sorcerer, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Al-Qaeda has joined the Islamic State in calling for jihad against China for its Uyghur policies.

    Al-Qaeda central appears to have joined the Islamic State in calling for jihad against China over its alleged occupation of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

    This week, al-Sahab media organization, al-Qaeda’s propaganda arm, released the first issue of its new English-language magazine Resurgence. The magazine has a strong focus on the Asia-Pacific in general, with feature articles on both India and Bangladesh, as well as others on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    However, the first issue also contains an article entitled “10 Facts About East Turkistan,” which refers to the name given to Xinjiang by those who favor independence from China. The ten facts seek to cast Xinjiang as a longtime independent state that has only recently been brutally colonized by Han Chinese, who are determined to obliterate its Islamic heritage.

    “In the last 1,000 years of its Islamic history,” the article says, Xinjiang “has remained independent for 763 years, while 237 years have been spent under Chinese occupation at various intervals.”

    This occupation has been costly, the article argues, alleging that: “In 1949, 93 percent of the population of East Turkistan was Uyghur, while 7 percent was Chinese. Today, as a result of six decades of forced displacement of the native population and the settlement of Han Chinese in their place, almost 45 percent of the population of East Turkistan is Chinese.”

    The article goes on to claim that teaching the Quran in Xinjiang is punishable by up to ten years in prison, and that Muslim women caught wearing the hijab can be fined more than five times the average annual income of the area. Al-Qaeda also claims that following its takeover of the mainland in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party murdered some 4.5 million Muslims in Xinjiang. The group further claims that China has conducted no less than 35 nuclear weapon tests in Xinjiang, and the radioactive fallout from these are estimated to have killed 200,000 Muslims. In 1998 alone, the article adds, 20,000 babies were born deformed in Xinjiang as a result of these nuclear tests.

    Although “10 Facts About East Turkistan” stops shorting of calling for jihad against China, the point is more directly articulated elsewhere in the first issue of Resurgence. For example, one article says that the “the victory of the Ummah” will be a “deathblow” and a “bitter defeat… for America, Iran, Russia, China and all those who have fought this war by proxy against Muslims.” In a particularly troubling article for China and other state actors, al-Qaeda calls on its followers to try to disrupt shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and Strait of Malacca, noting the waterways’ centrality for China and other Asian economies in particular.

    Al-Qaeda central’s sudden focus on China follows closely on the heels of the Islamic State also condemning Beijing for its handling of its Uyghur Muslim population. Back in July, IS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi gave a speech in which he argued “Muslim rights are forcibly seized in China, India, Palestine” and many other countries around the world. Later, IS released a map that outlined the borders of its envisioned Caliphate. Notably, Xinjiang province was included in the Caliphate.

    Chinese officials and local authorities have also noted an uptick in the number of Chinese nationals traveling to the Middle East to fight or train alongside militant groups in the region. The last year has also seen a sharp uptick in the frequency and sophistication of domestic terrorist attacks inside China, which the government blames on disgruntled Uyghurs.

    Resurgence’s focus on China also follows al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri recently establishing a South Asia branch to try and extend the group’s operations to the Indian continent. The move was largely seen as an attempt to compete with the Islamic State for the leadership of the jihadist world.

    The same competition almost certainly motivated al-Qaeda central to publish the English-language magazine as well. The al-Sahab media organization has been active since around 2001 — although its activities have rapidly diminished over the last few years — but this is the first time that it or al-Qaeda central has published an English-language magazine. However, the terrorist group’s Yemen-based branch, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has long published an English language magazine called Inspire, which Resurgence is modeled on.

    Inspire was best known for trying to motivate potential lone wolf terrorists in Western countries in the United States and Europe. Resurgence at times seems to try to emulate this approach, only with an eye toward populations mostly outside the Western world.

    That al-Qaeda is attempting to use an English-language publication to motivate would-be jihadists in places like Xinjiang displays a remarkable degree of desperation, incompetence or both, none of which bodes well for the group’s longevity. Terrorist groups have a history of failing under the leadership of Ayman al-Zawahiri, and al-Qaeda central increasingly appears destined to suffer the same fate.

    Source:Al-Qaeda Declares War on China, Too | The Diplomat

    China got Pakistaned!!! :pound:
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014
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  3. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    China and the ISIS Threat

    The Islamic State (IS), also widely known as ISIS and ISIL, is apparently attempting to make good on its promise to attack nations who oppose them. A week ago, in the largest counterterrorism operation in Australian history, 800 federal and state police officers raided more than a dozen properties across Sydney, sparked by intelligence that IS was planning a public street killing as a demonstration of its reach.

    The arrests in Sydney follow the arrest of two men in Brisbane last week for allegedly preparing to fight in Syria, recruiting jihadists and raising money for the al-Qaeda offshoot group Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the Nusra Front. Australia estimates about 60 of its citizens are fighting for IS and the Nusra Front in Iraq and Syria. To date, 15 of those fighters had been killed, including two young suicide bombers. Within Australia, the government believes around 100 Australians are actively supporting extremist groups, recruiting fighters and coaching suicide bombers, as well as providing funds and equipment.

    Australia is not alone in taking the threat from IS seriously: The New York Police Department’s top counterterrorism official stepped up security in Times Square on Wednesday following a recent Internet posting – purportedly authored by IS – that urged “lone wolf” terrorists to attack Times Square and other tourist spots. Also this week, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Yemen living in upstate New York, arrested earlier this year on charges of plotting to kill members of the U.S. military and others, faces new charges that he tried to aid the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

    Obama’s decision to go after IS, announced on September 11, deliberately harked back to the response of George W. Bush on that same day 13 years ago, when he promised to “find those responsible and to bring them to justice.” And much as world leaders in Israel, Russia, the Philippines, Algeria, Egypt, India and Tunisia followed Bush’s lead in cracking down on terrorist activity back then, world leaders will again consider the emergence of IS as a rallying call to heighten counteroffensive action against domestic terrorism.

    The U.S. and Australia are obvious targets for IS, but how dire is the threat for China? According to comments made in July by Wu Sike, China’s special envoy to the Middle East, up to 100 Chinese citizens may be fighting for IS. Wu believes the Chinese fighters are Uighurs from Xinjiang, a Muslim Turkic-speaking ethnic minority group.

    A recent meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), whose members include China Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, saw its members sharing the same fear Europeans and Americans have of their fellow citizens who have joined IS in Iraq and Syria returning to their home countries. In addressing the heads of state of SCO in Tajikistan, President Xi Jinping confirmed “(We) should make concerted efforts to crack down on the ‘three evil forces’ of terrorism, extremism and separatism.” Zhang Xinfeng, the group’s director of the Regional Anti-Terrorism Agency also spoke on the members’ concern of returning IS soldiers, saying, “These people have started returning to their homeland, which constitutes a major threat to regional security.”

    The heightened concern comes as Beijing battles an active homegrown terrorist insurgency primarily focused in the autonomous region of Xinjiang. Local authorities lay the blame for the violence on the minority Uyghur population, who are thought to be behind the July 28 attack, which led to 59 suspected terrorists being gunned down by security forces in Shache county in Xinjiang’s far south. Three days after the incident, the government-appointed head of the Id Kah mosque in the far western city of Kashgar was killed after leading morning prayers. This year has seen a number of grisly terrorist actions, including a suicide bombing on May 22 at a morning street market in Urumqi, which killed at least 39 people and wounded dozens. Other attacks include the stabbing of six people earlier this month at a train station in Guangzhou, a suicide bombing at the end of April at the Urumqi train station, and stabbings at the Kunming train station in March.

    While some Chinese diplomats may be publicly downplaying the threat of IS coming to China, Beijing is likely heightening its activity in response to comments made in early July by IS speaking of revenge against several countries, including China, for seizing “Muslim rights.” The comments made the cover story of Phoenix Weekly, a Hong Kong-based newsmagazine widely distributed in China, and the article was widely disseminated throughout Chinese news websites and social media to a population still anxious and fearful following the Kunming and Guangzhou attacks.

    The article quotes a July 4 speech in Mosul, Iraq by IS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, during which he says, “Muslim rights are forcibly seized in China, India, Palestine” and, “Your brothers all over the world are waiting for your rescue, and are anticipating your brigades.” The article specifically notes that China was mentioned first on al-Baghdadi’s list, and shows a map that reportedly shows the territory IS plans to occupy in the next five years – which includes a significant portion of Xinjiang.

    Some analysts claim the article and the map are exaggerating the potential for foreign jihadists to wage jihad in such distant lands as Xinjiang, citing the difficulty in mounting concurrent attacks across multiple fronts such as the U.S. and U.K. Clearly, following Obama’s approval for airstrikes, IS fighters have their hands full in Iraq and Syria, but the planned attack in Sydney reveals a global reach.

    Yet whether or not IS poses a real and immediate threat to the population in Xinjiang, Beijing is likely to give the go-ahead soon to use the perceived threat as justification to intensify their crackdown on the Uighur population. Uighur exile groups already complain Beijing overstates the threat from terrorism, falsely portraying riots as premeditated terror attacks. However, determining the extent of any threat, and what actually transpires on the ground, is difficult given constraints on foreign journalists operating in Xinjiang and delays in reporting from Chinese state media.

    Without better reporting coming out of Xinjiang, China will not attract much sympathy for its war on terrorism, despite sharing a common enemy, the Islamic State, with Washington. In theory, the interests of Washington and Beijing could align – as they may be doing in Iraq, where there is some support from China for carrying out airstrikes against insurgents in northern Iraq. Of course, Beijing’s other interest is economic – China is Iraq’s largest foreign oil buyer, owning more than 20 percent of Iraq oil projects.

    Sharing common interests in Iraq are a far cry from gaining Washington’s backing for stepped up efforts to fight terrorism in Xinjiang, as the situation there is less transparent than it is in Iraq. Unfortunately for the citizens of Xinjiang, Beijing is likely to use reports of an Islamic State presence in Xinjiang as propaganda to step up their fight against terrorism. Sadly, much as we saw happen to the Chechens, Kashmiris and Palestinians following the events of September 2001, Beijing’s reaction to the perceived threat of IS will likely only lead to more innocent victims, more counterattacks by extremists, and the radicalization of Uighur youth. All of which could one day fulfill the prophecy of IS entering the region.

    Gary Sands is a director at Highway West Capital Advisors, a venture capital, project finance and political risk advisory, and has contributed a number of op-eds for the South China Morning Post, U.S. News and World Report, Washington Times, and other outlets. He spent six years in Shanghai from 2006-2012, and is based now in Ho Chi Minh City.

    China and the ISIS Threat | The Diplomat
     
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  4. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

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    I wonder how PRC will react if there was a 9-11 and 26-11 type attack on their main city. god forbid that happens. and all eyes would be on Pakistan.
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It sure indicates difficult times for China.

    I am sure they will do something to stem the rot.
     
  6. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    ISIL Offers Chinese and Norwegian Hostages for Sale on the Open Market

    The Islamic State claims to be holding a Chinese and a Norwegian hostage, and on Wednesday published photos of the captives in the terrorist group's online magazine.
    The group posted photos of the two men wearing yellow prison outfits in the latest issue of its magazine Dabiq. The Norwegian man is identified as Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad, 48, from Oslo. The Chinese man is identified as Fan Jinghui, 50, a freelance consultant from Beijing.


    The men are advertised as being "for sale," and the magazine lists a telegram number for "whoever would like to pay the ransom for his release and transfer."

    The advertisements also note: "This is a limited time offer."

    Both ads provide the men's home addresses and other personal information.

    Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Wednesday confirmed that a Norwegian man in his 40s was captured in January in Syria, adding that "everything indicates that (Islamic State) is behind it."

    "The kidnappers have presented a series of demands and significant amounts of ransom money," she said, according to the AP. "We cannot give in and won't give into pressure from terrorists and criminals. Norway does not pay ransom."

    The ads claim the men were "abandoned" by their governments, "which did not do [their] utmost to purchase [their] freedom.


    The Islamic State typically advertises the Western hostages they capture, and has previously released gruesome videos of their executions. In February, the group released a video of a Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage.


    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150910/1026802218/hostage-isil-china-norway-isis.html#ixzz3lJnYSPyn
     

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