DUBAI: A prominent Al-Qaida militant on Wednesday threatened to attack Chinese targets in "reprisal" for the July 5 riots in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
He urged Uygurs in Xinjiang to "make serious preparations" for a "holy war" against the Chinese government and called on fellow Muslims for support.
Abu Yahya al-Libi, in a video posted on an Islamist website yesterday, called for "a true return to their (Uygurs) religion and ... serious preparation for jihad in the path of God the Almighty and to carry weapons ..."
He urged the Muslim world to "support them (the Uygurs) with all they can".
It was not the first time a terrorist group has threatened to attack Chinese targets after the July 5 riots, in which nearly 200 civilians, most of them Han Chinese, were killed.
In mid-July, Al-Qaida's Algerian-based offshoot, Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), issued a call for "reprisals".
AQIM pledged to target the 50,000 Chinese workers in Algeria as well as Chinese projects and workers across northwest Africa, said the London-based international consultancy Stirling Assynt.
The Chinese embassy in Algeria then issued a statement on its website urging Chinese organizations and citizens in Algeria to be on alert.
Justin Crump, head of terrorism and country risk with Stirling Assynt, told China Daily: "Although AQIM appears to be the first arm of Al-Qaida to officially state they will target Chinese interests, others are likely to follow".
In August, the leader of a group calling itself the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) urged Muslims to attack Chinese interests worldwide.
TIP has claimed violent attacks in the past, including the bombing of two public buses in Shanghai in May last year.
Reuters - China Daily