Jihad in China: Car explosion kill civilians in BeijingPosted: October 29, 2013
Nearly all Chinese media outlets have blocked out reports on the incidents and are removing pictures and clips taken from the explosion in Beijing. They don’t want negative reports to deter potential investors and foreigners and affect trade relations. So, if they don’t want a future with daily events like this they better block out muslims from their country. As usual the muslims in China whine about “discrimination”. What does discrimination mean in muslim language? It means that if they don’t have full blown Islam in any country they go to or live in, they ‘feel mistreated’ and demand that the entire society bend and conform to their demands. They take no responsibility of their own behavior but continue with the same aggression and savagery we see everywhere they are.
Only one media outlet (South China Morning Post) dwelled deeper on the investigation: “There were some suggestions that police were looking at suspects from the Uighur community, Muslims from the northwest of China.”
(more) Published: October 29, 2013 | New York Times
BEIJING — The Chinese authorities investigating a deadly episode near Tiananmen Square appeared to be focusing on suspects from Xinjiang, the region in China’s far west that has been the scene of increasingly violent resistance to Beijing’s hard-line policies. Officials increased security at pivotal intersections, subway stations and tourist sites across the capital on Tuesday. But they remained conspicuously silent about an incident that many Chinese believe was a deliberate attack on the political and symbolic heart of the nation.
Five people were killed and 38 were injured on Monday when a sport utility vehicle plowed through a crowd of pedestrians and burst into flames at the foot of one the nation’s most hallowed monuments, the Tiananmen Gate. The dead included all three occupants of the vehicle.
Government censors on Tuesday continued to vigorously delete photographs and commentary about the incident on social media, reflecting the Communist Party’s unease about the episode and the risk that it could worsen relations between China’s ethnic Han majority and the Muslim, Turkic-speaking Uighur minority, concentrated in Xinjiang. Many Uighurs complain about religious restrictions and the flood of Han migrants that has dramatically shifted the demography of the region.
The event was no less unnerving for having taken place before a Nov. 9 meeting of party leaders. Just hours before the car exploded, President Xi Jinping and other members of the Politburo Standing Committee attended the opening session of the National Women’s Congress in the Great Hall of the People, which sits diagonally across from Tiananmen Gate.
By Tuesday morning, all evidence of the mayhem caused by the vehicle, which hurtled more than 400 yards along a sidewalk thronged with tourists, had been cleared away. Some witnesses said the driver warned pedestrians by honking as the car sped forward. Reuters quoted a witness who said the vehicle was trailing a white banner with black letters.
The vehicle exploded near a row of marble bridges that once provided access to the former imperial residence, known as the Forbidden City. But there was no sign of that on Tuesday around the bridges, suggesting that the explosion was caused by a combustible substance ignited by the vehicle’s occupants after it came to a stop.
Indications that investigators were focusing on Uighurs emerged from a police notice sent to Beijing hotels on Monday night, warning them to be on the lookout for two ethnic Uighurs. The notice, which was posted online, included the names and home counties of two suspects. One suspect was said to be from Shanshan County, the scene of a violent clash between protesters and the police last summer that left dozens dead. The other was said to be from Pishan County, near the jade-trading city of Hotan, where seven people, including two women, were killed during a 2011 clash between residents and the police.
The South China Morning Post, citing several hotels in Beijing, said the authorities were seeking information about five license plates from Xinjiang and as many as eight people, all but one with Uighur names.
The Beijing Public Security Bureau did not respond to phone calls and a faxed request for comment.
An official who answered the phone on Tuesday at a police station house in Pishan said one of the suspects, Yusupu Aihemaiti, had been living on a farm affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army but had left in September. The officer added that investigators had stopped by on Monday seeking more information. Pressed for further details, the officer hung up.
A police official in Shanshan County, the home of the second named suspect, Yusupu Wumaierniyazi, declined to discuss the case.
The Beijing incident follows several months of escalating violence in Xinjiang that has taken more than 100 lives, most of them in the heavily Uighur south, a thinly populated expanse of desert flecked with ancient oasis towns whose residents are largely poor.
Much of the bloodshed last summer occurred during protests that turned violent; exile groups, for example, say the June clash in Lukqun, a township in Shanshan County, was incited by public discontent over religious restrictions that limit public prayer or discourage women from wearing head scarves. The authorities, however, described the violence as a “terrorist attack” and last month sentenced to death three Uighur men involved in the incident, according to the state news media.
A number of other incidents appear to have been unprovoked attacks by Uighurs against Han Chinese. In May, seven Chinese dam workers were slashed to death as they slept in tents near Hotan, according to a report by Radio Free Asia. That incident, like much of the unrest in Xinjiang, was unreported in the Chinese media, part of the government’s effort to play down ethnic strife in the region.
In the worst outbreak of ethnic violence in decades, nearly 200 people, most of them Han, were killed in 2009 during rioting in the provincial capital, Urumqi. The bloodshed shocked the Chinese leadership and the nation and led to even more draconian security, which critics say has worsened tensions.
If the incident at Tiananmen Square proves to be the work of Uighur assailants, it will suggest that the region’s seething discontent can no longer be confined to China’s far-off frontier, a vast expanse rich in oil and gas that borders Pakistan, Afghanistan and several Central Asian countries. Yang Shu, a professor who heads the Institute for Central Asian Studies at Lanzhou University, said he thought the incident had the hallmarks of a suicide attack.
He said it was only a matter of time before the violence that plagues the region seeps into the Chinese heartland. “There is a spillover effect from these terrorist acts that extends beyond Xinjiang,” he said. “This should be a warning for authorities that the sphere of their activities is expanding.”
But Ilham Tohti, a Uighur scholar in Beijing, warned against drawing conclusions about the identity and motives of those responsible for Monday’s attack. He said the 20 million Uighurs living in China already faced widespread discrimination and unwritten restrictions that limit employment opportunities and their ability to travel abroad.
Acts of violence by petitioners and other disgruntled Han are not uncommon in China, he said, noting that such behavior is often viewed by the public as misguided outbursts of desperation, not acts of terrorism. “There is already tremendous hatred between the Han and Uighurs, so calling these people ‘terrorists’ before all the facts are established is only going to make things worse,” he said.
Patrick Zuo and Frank Ye contributed research.
- China Focuses on Ethnic Minority in Beijing Car Explosion (nytimes.com)
- Search for ‘Xinjiang suspects’ after Tiananmen crash (thehindu.com)
- Car explosion kill civilians in Beijing, while police search for Muslim culprits (themuslimissue.wordpress.com)
- China seeks info on Uighurs after car attack (thestate.com)
- Chinese police hunt for two Xinjiang men after deadly Tiananmen car crash (theguardian.com)
- China Focuses on Ethnic Minority in Beijing Car Explosion – New York Times (topbreakingnews.info)
- China Probes Possible Link to Restive Region in Tiananmen Crash – Wall Street Journal (stream.wsj.com)
- Tiananmen car crash may have been suicide attack, officials claim (theguardian.com)
- Xinjiang ‘suspects’ named after Tiananmen crash (capitalfm.co.ke)
- China seeks info on Uighurs after deadly crash (hosted.ap.org)