China / Society

Terrorist group behind Xinjiang attack

By Gao Bo in Urumqi and Xinhua (China Daily/Xinhua) Updated: 2014-05-19 00:29

A group on the United Nations' terrorist list was confirmed to have masterminded a deadly incident in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region last month.

The East Turkistan Islamic Movement was identified as orchestrating the attack in Xinjiang's capital Urumqi on April 30, killing three and injuring 79, the provincial publicity department said on Sunday.

ETIM member Ismail Yusup, who lives outside China, planned the incident, it said, and on April 22 ordered 10 associates to launch the attack. Eight days later, the gang set off explosives and slashed people with knives at the exit of the South Railway Station of Urumqi around 7:10 pm.

Two members of the gang, Saderdin Sawut and Memetabudula Ete, died in the explosion.

Police identified the rest of the gang and recently arrested them.

The ETIM, which advocates the violent separation of Xinjiang from China, has been identified as a terrorist group by China, the US, the European Union and the United Nations. It has been held responsible for terrorist plots in Dubai and Norway in 2010.

Investigations show that the main members of the gang started to preach Islamic extremism in 2005. Ismail Yusup fled abroad after becoming wanted by police for making explosives, and he joined the ETIM in 2013.

China has asked Interpol to help arrest him and senior members of cells.

The "Turkestan Islamic Party", the other name of the ETIM, reportedly released a video on how to make a briefcase bomb that was used in the April 30 attack.

Li Wei, an anti-terrorism researcher at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said the fact that ETIM terrorists released a video and claim responsibility shows domestic and overseas terrorist forces are more synchronized.

Meng Nan, a Central Asia researcher at Xinjiang University, said the use of the Internet to spread religious extremism and terrorism and brainwash Chinese people who go overseas is more frequent.

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