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Chinese jihadists back from Syria

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On the eve of the riots anniversary in Xinjiang (formerly East Turkestan) [1], a series of attacks, on 26 June 2013, against public buildings in the township of Luqkun took the lives of 24 people.

The Global Times, reported the return of some one hundred members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) who had joined the "sacred jihad" in Syria [2] However, the Syrian ambassador to Beijing could only identify thirty cases. Whatever the case may be, the support they enjoy in Turkey and their acquired fighting experience in Syria make of these Uighur Islamist militants, now back in China, a real threat to Xinjiang.

ETIM, a branch of Al-Qaeda in China, is considered a terrorist organization by the United Nations. 22 of its fighters were arrested by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and interned at Guantánamo. The presence of Chinese Islamist fighters in Syria has been recorded since October 2012 [3].

[1] "Que se passe-t-il dans le Xinjiang ?", by Domenico Losurdo, Réseau Voltaire, 12 July 2009.

[2] "Xinjiang terrorists finding training, support in Syria, Turkey", by Lin Meilian, Global Times, 1 July 2013.

[3] «Xinjiang jihad hits Syria», par Qiu Yongzheng et Liu Chang, Global Times, 29 octobre 2012.

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