February 21, 2009
Al Qaeda's China Affiliate Releases First Magazine
(Bonus: e-mail an al Qaeda terrorist)
The Islamic Party of Turkistan has released its first internet publication through al Qaeda's al Fajr media center. The group is al Qaeda's affiliate which is active in western China, especially Xinxiang, but is also known to hit targets in the Han populated East. The group was active in Afghanistan prior to the US invasion. 12 of the group's members were held in Guantanamo at one time or another.
The magazine has been circulating for a few days now and I've been going back and forth on whether or not I'd write anything. But two things pushed me over the edge: First, the multiple images which seem to indicate that al Qaeda in China is claiming responsibility for a number of attacks. Attacks which the Communist country consistently downplays. Second, it's been far too long since we've e-mailed a terrorist.
So, let's start in reverse order. Here's a screenshot of the e-mail address associated with the al Qaeda publication. Some of you may recognize it from other al Qaeda publications, but it may be new to others. I'm guessing "Tipawazi2000" won't mind so much if you sign him up for gay porn, the bacon explosion fan club, or maybe just use his name to sign the support Geert Wilders petition.
So, what image, specifically, made me decide that I needed to write something? It wasn't the map of China showing majority Muslim population centers which the group claims should be independent from Beijing. Nor was it multiple images of the leaders of East Turkistan's short-lived "Islamic Republic". And it wasn't the images of the group's fighters training for jihad against China under Taliban controlled Afghanistan.
This is the image that seemed eerily familiar.
Why familiar? Because we published the same image back in August of 2005.
The image is from a suicide bombing in Fuzhou City which killed one according to official sources, but unofficial sources have the number much higher than that. Unofficial sources also claim that 1,000 bombing incidents in the country every year, virtually none of which are reported.
I keep reminding readers that the present hot spot for global jihad is Somalia, but that in the future the Caucuses may also be the place for international jihadis to congregate. But let's not forget China. Just because the media does not report the long standing insurgency that does not mean that it isn't there.