The Uighurs insist that the charges are false, fabricated to justify the oppression of the Uighurs. That may be, but there are so many Islamic jihadists that the story is completely believable.
“China arrests suspected “˜Islamist militants” over Tiananmen Square jeep attack,” by Adam Withnall for the Independent, October 30 (thanks to Maxwell):
The Chinese authorities say they have caught five suspected Islamist militants in the wake of the “terrorist attack” on Tiananmen Square which killed five and wounded dozens.
Officials have also released details about the occupants of the jeep which caused the chaos, slamming into a crowd of tourists and security officers before bursting into flames.
They identified the driver as Usmen Hasan, whose name, local media reported, suggests he was an ethnic Uighur, a Muslim minority living in the far western region of Xinjiang.
His wife and mother were with him in the car, along with devices filled with gasoline, knives and a flag with “religious extremist content” written on it, a police statement said.
The vehicle ploughed into pedestrians in the square, which has drawn occasional protests since 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations were suppressed by the military. Sources earlier told Reuters it was a suspected suicide attack.
“Police have identified Monday’s incident at Tiananmen Square as a violent terrorist attack which was carefully planned, organised and premeditated,” police said, adding the three people in the vehicle died after they set the gasoline on fire.
The other two people killed were tourists. At least 38 people were injured.
Five people connected with the incident were caught just 10 hours after the attack, with help from the Xinjiang government, the police said, all of whom also have names that suggest they are Uighur.
Police said they had seized Islamist militant flags and knives from where they were staying.
The Uighurs say it’s all lies:
As authorities stepped up security in Xinjiang, Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the main exiled Uighur group, the World Uyghur Congress, warned against believing China’s side of the story.
“Beijing has always made these kind of accusations, but they refuse to make public the reasoning behind them. They will not make the story behind the accusations transparent,” he told Reuters.
Raxit said he was worried the incident would provide authorities with an excuse “to further repress Uighurs”.
“If an attack is committed by a Han Chinese, it’s not terrorism, but if a Uighur commits it, it is,” he said, referring to the majority community. “Beijing makes these accusations in service of an ulterior motive.”
The government denies accusations of repression.
Reuters reporters in Xinjiang were turned back by police at a roadblock outside Lukqun town, and sent back to the nearby city of Turpan.
Police have identified one of the caught suspects as being from Lukqun, where 35 people died in June in what China also termed a terrorist attack.
“We have some police matters we are handling. For security reasons, you are not allowed in. I imagine it will be at least another month or two before this area is open,” a police officer at the checkpoint said.
In a small village near the checkpoint, a young Uighur man who declined to give his name said people were afraid.
“In the past few days, the police have been everywhere. At night, the sirens were all around. We are afraid to speak. If you speak, you will be taken away or shot,” the man said, making a pistol shape with his hand.
Xinjiang is home to the Turkic-speaking Uighurs, many of whom chaff at China’s controls on their religion and culture and there have been violent clashes there in the past.
The government blames Uighur militants for provoking violence in Xinjiang, which borders the Central Asian states of the former Soviet Union as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
But many rights groups and exiles say China exaggerates the threat to justify its harsh rule.
Yes, everyone exaggerates it everywhere, in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Kashmir, Chechnya, Nigeria — all over the world Muslims just go about their business and then non-Muslim authorities start exaggerating about them.