In China, the head of the FBI has declared that jihad terrorism is a threat there. From AP, :
BEIJING (AP)–The head of the U.S.’ FBI Wednesday said China was home to Islamic fundamentalists who may want to further their ideological agenda by staging terror attacks.
Speaking in Beijing, Robert Mueller didn’t elaborate on whether new terrorist groups had been identified or whether there was any sign of al-Qaida activity in China.
While China isn’t known to have been targeted by international terrorist groups, Mueller cautioned against complacency.
“Just because you have not seen substantial terrorist attacks in China does not mean that there could not be one in the future or in other countries in Asia,” he said.
Beijing has long contended that its predominantly Muslim Xinjiang region in the northwest has been a breeding ground for terrorists and violent separatists, although officials have provided little evidence.
However, the Federal Bureau of Investigations director said terrorists included a “wide variety of individuals who may, to a greater or lesser degree, subscribe to extremist Islamic fundamentalism.
“There certainly are individuals in China who could be described as having that same mindset as well as that desire to utilize terrorist acts to further their agenda,” Mueller told reporters at a news conference.
In 2002, the U.S. identified the Xinjiang-based East Turkestan Islamic Movement as a terrorist organization – a classification some believed was a diplomatic bone thrown to China in exchange for its tacit support of the American-led war on terror.
Washington has been mostly reluctant to back Beijing’s claims of Muslim extremism in Xinjiang and has told Beijing that anti-terror efforts shouldn’t be abused to target those with legitimate grievances against China’s heavy-handed rule in the province.
Diplomats and foreign experts say most violence in Xinjiang blamed on separatists isn’t politically motivated and appears to stem from personal disputes.
Mueller said he discussed issues ranging from intellectual property rights to extradition of prisoners during his three-day visit that began Monday.
He called also for increased international cooperation against terrorism, saying: “With these threats against our countries, it’s only by working together cooperatively, that…we will be able to overcome those threats and protect the safety of our people.”
Mueller said he had met with officials from the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of State Security and the prosecutor’s office to strengthen future cooperation.
“The most important thing for us is the exchange of intelligence, the exchange of information quickly and swiftly to address threats, particularly the threat of terrorism,” he said.