Terrorists issue new threat to Olympics: US analysts

August 8th, 2008 - 11:54 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 8 (DPA) A little-known Islamic group has issued a new terrorist threat against the Beijing Olympics, US intelligence analysts said Friday. The Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) issued the threat Wednesday in a video posted on the Internet, urging Muslims “not to attend the games or be within the vicinity”, the SITE Intelligence Group reported on its website.

The six-minute video “call to the global Muslim ummah” had a production date of Aug 1 and similar graphics to a previous video purporting to be from the same group, SITE said.

“The speaker identifies himself as a representative of TIP and urges Muslims to ‘choose your side’,” SITE said.

“Do not stay on the same bus, on the same train, on the same plane, in the same buildings or any place the Chinese are,” it quoted the speaker as saying.

The video also urged Muslims to give financial, physical and spiritual support to the group, SITE said.

A similar TIP video, distributed online from July 24, showed the Beijing Olympics logo in flames.

China has identified independence-seeking Uighur groups from its central Asian region of Xinjiang as the biggest potential terrorist threat during the Olympics.

China has said the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a militant Uighur group, has plotted to sabotage the Olympics by trying to blow up a domestic airliner, kidnap foreigners and cause explosions at Olympics venues.

Uighur and human rights groups have accused China of exaggerating the threat from a group whose actual strength is unclear.

Some Chinese officials in Xinjiang also played down the threat of terrorism.

But Shi Dagang, the Communist Party secretary of Xinjiang’s Kashgar city, said an attack Aug 4 in the city was linked to ETIM.

Reacting to the latest threat in the video Friday, Wang Wei, the general secretary of the Beijing Olympic organisers, said China would “spare no effort” in securing the games.

“Security is always a top job,” Wang said. “We spare no efforts in making a safe games.”

“Security has been reinforced, but we also want to have a relaxed atmosphere at the games,” Wang told reporters. “We need to strike a balance.”

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