‘Failed overseas jihad’ led to terrorist attack

By Jiang Jie and Chen Chenchen Source:Global Times Published: 2014-3-6 0:48:03

The suspects in Saturday's terror attack in Kunming, Yunnan Province had originally wanted to become jihadis overseas, Yunnan deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) said Tuesday.

Qin Guangrong, the provincial Party chief, said that eight attackers had traveled to Yunnan and Guangdong provinces try to leave China to participate in "jihad". They returned to Yunnan when they failed to get out, reported China National Radio (CNR).

When the group failed to escape through Honghe county in Yunnan, which borders Vietnam, they plotted to launch jihad at transport terminals in either Kunming or Honghe, according to the confession of one captured female suspect who regained consciousness in hospital on Monday.

Another three suspects were captured in Honghe on Monday. Four were shot to death at the scene after their knife rampage killed 29 and injured 143 at Kunming Railway Station on Saturday. 

"We have put those who are connected to the eight suspects under surveillance," said Qin, adding that all medical expenses for the victims' treatment would be paid by the government.

Qin noted that lessons must be learned from the attack, as police forces with the rail transport system proved to be inadequate and intelligence systems were also weak as there was no advanced warning of an attack.

"There is also a lack of awareness of anti-terrorism," Qin said.

Zhang Guibai, political commissar of Yunnan armed police, said that deployment in all sensitive spots has been consolidated in order to prevent new terrorist attacks and new achievements would be made as the work deepens.

Premier Li Keqiang pledged to crack down hard on terrorism at the NPC's annual session on Wednesday and an anti-terrorism law was proposed by several legislators and political advisors.

Bekri Mamuti, a political advisor who proposed the law this year, said that current laws cannot define or judge terrorists and a specific law is urgently needed to punish terrorism, according to CNR.

Rebiya Kadeer, leader of the World Uyghur Congress, urged China's government to respond calmly to the attack and said that tension could only be reduced if China acknowledged rights issues Uyghurs face, reported Reuters.

The comments were condemned by China's foreign ministry. Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said that Kadeer's group is an anti-China separatist group which has no right to represent China's Uyghur people.

"Her remarks make it obvious that she is seeking to take the serious violent terrorist incident in Kunming and link it to a certain ethnicity. This shows an ulterior political motive," Qin Gang said.

Pan Zhiping, a research fellow at the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the attack in Kunming was not an act of revenge out of desperation, but a clearly-calculated terrorist attack.

"Kadeer is obviously provoking conflicts between ethnic groups. China has never suppressed Uyghurs," Pan told the Global Times Wednesday.

Posted in: Society

blog comments powered by Disqus