Following the October 28 crash of an SUV next to the Tiananmen Gate, which killed five people, authorities immediately labeled it a terrorist action after the driver and passengers in the automobile were identified as Uyghur. Now, SITE, a group that tracks statements from Islamic militant groups, has found footage of the leader of the Turkestan Islamic Party calling the crash a “jihadi operation.” From Reuters:
In an eight-minute message, Mansour said Uighur fighters would target even the Great Hall of the People, where the Chinese parliament meets and China’s Communist Party holds legislative and ceremonial activities, SITE said.
The service quoted Mansour as saying: “O Chinese unbelievers, know that you have been fooling East Turkestan for the last 60 years, but now they have awakened. The people have learned who is the real enemy and they returned to their own religion. They learned the lesson.”
Chinese authorities have blamed what they called the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a Muslim Uighur separatist group in Xinjiang province, for the attack, and arrested five people they said were radical Islamists planning a holy war. [Source]
The South China Morning Post reports that the message appears to fall short of claiming direct responsibility for the Tiananmen attack:
It was unclear if the video posted online includes an explicit claim of responsibility, and there has been no mention of it in Chinese state media.
Some security analysts believe the Turkestan Islamic Party is the parent of the East Turkestan Independence Movement (ETIM), a group that China and the United States have placed on terror lists. Others say both names refer to the same group. [Source]
Read more about the October 28 attack via CDT.