July 26, 2008— -- A terrorist group based in western China threatens to attack the upcoming Beijing Olympics, and claims responsibility for last week's deadly bus bombings in China in a new propaganda video released July 25.
The Turkistan Islamic Party video, entitled "Our Blessed Jihad in Yunnan," warns spectators and athletes, "particularly the Muslims," not to attend the Beijing Games, which are scheduled to begin in two weeks on Aug. 8.
"Our aim is to target the most critical points related to the Olympics. We will try to attack Chinese central cities severely using the tactics that have never been employed," the group's leader, Commander Seyfullah said, according to a translation of the video provided by IntelCenter, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that monitors terrorism.
The Turkistan Islamic Party is fighting to gain autonomy for the native Muslim population in the Xinjiang Province of China, which shares a border with Pakistan and Afghanistan. The group has been linked to al Qaeda and has been monitored by U.S. and foreign intelligence agencies.
"Despite the Turkistan Islamic Party's repeated warnings to China and international community about stopping the 29th Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese have haughtily ignored our warnings. The Turkistan Islamic Party volunteers who had gone through special preparation have started urgent actions." Seyfullah said, according to the IntelCenter translation.
Seyfullah, with a raised voice and breathing heavily, claims responsibility for the bombing of three public buses in Yunnan on July 21, and the bombing of a plastic factory in Guangzhou on July 17.
The bus explosions killed at least two people and injured 14 in the southwestern city of Kunming in Yunnan Province.
The official Xinhua news agency of China said it was seeking to find out who was responsible for the attacks.
Seyfullah said the group bombed two public buses in Shanghai on May 5 and "took action against police" in Wenzhou on July 17 with a tractor loaded with explosives.
The video is about three and a half minutes in length, and resembles al Qaeda propaganda videos in structure.
At the top of the video a sign for the Beijing Olympic Games is engulfed in flames. The video continues with still photos of the aftermath of the bus bombings in China.
The bulk of the video shows Seyfullah speaking, wearing a white cloth to cover his face. Two militants wearing black ski masks and holding rifles stand behind him.
"The Turkistan Islamic Party warns China one more time," Seyfullah said according to the IntelCenter transcript.
The warning comes two weeks before the start of the Beijing Games on August 8.