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Feature: The terrorist nature of "East Turkestan" separatists

With explosions  targeting civilians, assassinations, arson attacks,  poisonings and al-Qaeda style video footages  threatening dire actions, the "East Turkestan"  separatists have long been terrorists.

The three "East Turkestan" groups -- the World  Uyghur Congress (WUC), the East Turkestan Union in  Europe and the East Turkestan Information Center,  have proved to have close links with terrorism.

Dolqun Isa, WUC secretary general and president  of the East Turkestan Union in Europe, is also  the vice president of the East Turkestan  Liberation Organization (ETLO), which has been  classified by the United Nations as a terrorist  organization.

The East Turkestan Information Center released  a video via the British Broadcasting Corporation  prior to the 50th anniversary of the Xinjiang  Uygur Autonomous Region in 2005, threatening an  armed revolt for "East Turkestan independence."

Holding automatic rifles, three hooded men  declared they would "do whatever possible to  launch an armed campaign against the Chinese  government," -- reminiscent of the cold-blooded  al-Qaeda killers.

Abudujelili Kalakash is the founder of the East  Turkestan Information Center. He and Isa  abandoned the group after it was listed as  sponsors of terrorism.

Isa chose the WUC, while Kalakash became vice  president of the World Uyghur Youth Congress. He  later joined the WUC too.

The "East Turkestan" forces, under the  influence of terrorism, extremism and separatism,  pose a severe threat not only to China, but also  to the Asian-Pacific region and the world at  large.

Their terrorist activities since the 1990s,  including bombings, assassinations, arson attacks  and poisonings, have known no boundaries.

In March 1997, "East Turkestan" terrorists  opened fire on the Chinese embassy in Ankara,  Turkey, attacked the Chinese consulate-general in  Istanbul, and burnt the Chinese national flag.

On March 5, 1998, they launched a bomb attack against the Chinese consulate-general in Istanbul.

In March 2000, Nighmet Bosakof, president of  the Kyrgyzstan "Uygur Youth Alliance," was shot  dead in front of his house by ETLO members as he  had refused to cooperate with them.

In May 2000, members of the Uygur Liberation  Organization extorted 100,000 U.S. dollars as  ransom after kidnapping a Xinjiang businessman.  They murdered his nephew, and set fire to the  Bishkek Market of Chinese Commodities.

On May 25, 2000, terrorists attacked a work  team of the Xinjiang People's Government which was  sent to Kyrgyzstan to deal with the above case.  One person was killed and two were injured.

The culprits then fled to Kazakhstan, killing two policemen who were searching for them in Alma-Ata in September the same year.

The "East Turkestan" forces now play a major role in world terrorism.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in  the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, their bases  in Afghanistan were destroyed by the U.S. forces,  and 22 of their key members were jailed.

In 2002, the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Party  (ETIP) was named a terrorist group by the UN. The  Security Council said in April this year that its  head Abdul Haq had links with al-Qaeda.

The U.S. Department of Treasury immediately froze his assets and prohibited any transactions with him.

"We stand together with the world in condemning  this brutal terrorist and isolating him from the  international financial system," a Treasury  Department statement said.

The "East Turkestan" terrorists conceal their  violent nature under the cover of the WUC, which  has replaced the ETIP as the chief coordinator of  "East Turkestan" activities overseas.

However, their unlawful activities have been  noted by the world community and many countries,  especially those in Central Asia, have become  increasingly tough on them.

Kazakhstan outlawed two such groups in 1995,  and it, together with Uzbekistan and other  countries in the region, have extradited a number  of "East Turkestan" terrorists to China.

The heads of states of Kazakhstan, China,  Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan  signed the Shanghai treaty on the crackdown on  terrorism, separatism and extremism when they  launched the Shanghai Cooperation Organization  (SCO) on June 15, 2001. They epressed their  determination to jointly crack down on the "East  Turkestan" forces.

Following the riot in Urumqi, capital of the  Xinjiang Autonomous Region, on July 5, the SCO  issued a statement declaring all its members would  expand cooperation in curbing terrorism,  separatism and extremism in a bid to safeguard  regional security and stability.

The fight against the "East Turkestan" forces  has been "the top priority of the SCO since it was  established, and we are confident that we will  emerge the winner,"  Kyrgyz Foreign Minister  Kadyrbek Sarbaev said.


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