China: Unheard of ‘Turkestan Islamic Party’ claims recent bombings

Global Voices OlympicsDo not confuse the unknown Turkestan Islamic Party with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, writes the New Dominion blogger in their detailed post today on the news today of a Commander Seyfullah reportedly taking responsibility for recent bombing incidents in China and the video accompanying the claims (update: someone mentions that the fact that a threat is made in the video against next month's Olympics is presumably also worth noting):

Yet even with what little information we have, there are a number of eyebrow-raising points to consider…

First, why the delay? Why would such an organization carry out these attacks only wait until now to claim ownership of the violence?

Why would China remain silent on such issues even if they had the slightest inkling that East Turkestan terrorists were responsible for the acts? There’s a trend among the government to exploit every opportunity to justify increased Olympics security and crackdowns in restive minority areas, as evidenced by the glowing report released recently on “busting up terrorist cells”, as well as the intense domestic press coverage of incidents with really spurious, if not entirely fabricated links to religious terrorism.

Here's the video in which the threat to the Olympic Games is made, found via CyberHawk on the LibertyTimes blog:

YouTube user serindia posts in the comments what appears to be a translation of what's said in the video that also appears on the IntelCenter website:

恐怖份子Turkistan Islamic Party Commander Seyfullah: “Our damullah, Abdul Heq, made his final order to the [person] responsible for the military regarding the issue of severely attacking all central cities in inner China, particularly focusing on eight cities that are going to hold Olympic games. … ask our merciful Allah to allow these brothers and sisters [suicide bombers] to deal a fatal blow in this jihad against Chinese & we ask our merciful Allah to completely stop Olympic Games. … Bomb Chinese government buildings, military barracks, airplanes, airports, railways, hotels, entertainment venues, tourist spots and similar places…You're even permitted to use biological weapons this time.”

Update 2:
Kenneth Tan at Shanghaiist and Kai Pan at CNReviews have also posted on this.


  • Cam

    China denies group’s claim of role in bus bombings

    “(Reuters) – Chinese authorities denied claims by a group calling itself the Turkistan Islamic Party that it was responsible for deadly bus explosions in Shanghai and Yunnan province ahead of the Olympic Games, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.”

  • Spelunker

    First of all, I’d like to know what language is being spoken in the video. Is it Uyghur? If so, then an Uyghur linguist would be able to detect regional variations and confirm that the speaker is from Xinjiang.

    One of the first things I noticed when this news tidbit broke was the spelling of “Turkistan”, which is different than the spelling used by East Turkestan Islamic Movement. (*Private note to editor: Please keep the original spelling “Turkistan” in the first sentence of GVO’s article.*)

    A major mistake in the video, according to the translation, is the total number of host cities for the 2008 Olympics in China. Commander Seyfullah says “eight”, but actually there are only six co-host cities:
    1. Qingdao (sailing)
    2. Hong Kong (equestrian)
    3. Tianjin (football)
    4. Shanghai (football)
    5. Shenyang (football)
    6. Qinhuangdao (football)
    The grand total of host cities is seven when including Beijing. Kunming is not hosting any Olympic athletic events, so Spelunker should get a fuwa key chain for pointing this error out to Chinese and international media.

    My conclusion is that this video is an amateur operation totally unrelated to the evidence we have seen collected so far in Kunming.

  • abc


    Your conclusion? based on what you cannot understand directly and translated by who-knows-who-he-is? It is simply ridiculous.

  • Spelunker

    My conclusion is based on the fact that the people responsible for this amateur video can not spell Turkestan, do not know the correct number of Olympic host cities in China, and also because the evidence gathered so far in Kunming (witness accounts, Chinese text message, etc.) shows no link to Islamic terrorists.
    It’s as simple as A-B-C!

  • I don’t know this instance well, but what I do know is that the CCP has a habit of calling people whom it persecutes ‘terrorists’. In The case of Falun Gong, they have gone to extreme lengths to vilify that group in the eyes of the masses. They have used the same tactic with the Uyghurs and Tibetans. They have used that tactic to justify their use of brutality against people whom they feel threatened by since they clamoured to power. They vilify people, and then they have an excuse to clamp down on ordinary freedom loving people.

    I don’t know that all Uyghurs are peaceful, but the claims of terrorism made by the CCP are definitely trumped up and to them terrorism is often just code for people who have independently thinking minds and who don’t like to eat BS like the masses.

    Heres a good report on this:

    my blog:

  • Spelunker

    Well, carryanne, in this instance China’s government is saying that Kunming’s bus explosions are NOT the work of Uyghur terrorists. The claims of terrorism are being made by Commander Seyfullah, not the China Communist Party.
    Most Uyghurs are indeed freedom loving people with independent thinking minds. However I do believe they like to eat “BS” as well, if you were referring to “barbecued sheep”.

  • I assume, that the Chinese government want the fear but not the attacks. So they will claim, that there is a high risk of terrorist attacks, in order to justify their behaviour. But when there is really an incident, they will claim it’s just an accident, because an terrorist attack would proof their precautions ineffective. So their most preferred scenario is: a lot of fear of terrorist attacks, which the government was able to prevent.

  • the govt \want\ both… the ‘fear’, so that the public shall keep on guard for themselves, some what lighten the pressure of the police force.

  • […] last month's Olympics terrorism threat/confession video claiming to be from a group called the Turkestan Islamic Party, another video has been released. […]

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