China – An attack on a farmers market in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang has reportedly left at least 22 people dead and dozens injured it was reported on the 20 Oct 14. The rampage, which took place on the 12 Oct 14 in Kashgar Prefecture, was carried out by four men armed with knives and explosives who attacked police officers and merchants before being shot dead by the police. Most of the victims were ethnic Han Chinese and the assailants were ethnic Uighur the local police stated. The police said the assailants were local men who arrived on motorcycles two of them attacked police officers patrolling the street while the other two attacked the Han Chinese stall owners who were just entering the market to open their stores.
Al-Qaeda central appears to have joined the Islamic State in calling for jihad against China over its alleged occupation of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region it was reported on the 22 Oct 14. This week, al-Sahaab media organization, al-Qaeda’s propaganda arm, released the first issue of its new English-language magazine Resurgence. The magazine has a strong focus on the Asia-Pacific in general, with feature articles on both India and Bangladesh, as well as others on Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, the first issue also contains an article entitled “10 Facts About East Turkistan,” which refers to the name given to Xinjiang by those who favour independence from China. The ten facts seek to cast Xinjiang as a long-time independent state that has only recently been brutally colonized by Han Chinese, who are determined to obliterate its Islamic heritage. “In the last 1,000 years of its Islamic history,” the article says, Xinjiang “has remained independent for 763 years, while 237 years have been spent under Chinese occupation at various intervals.” This occupation has been costly, the article argues, alleging that: “In 1949, 93 percent of the population of East Turkistan was Uyghur, while 7 percent was Chinese. Today, as a result of six decades of forced displacement of the native population and the settlement of Han Chinese in their place, almost 45 percent of the population of East Turkistan is Chinese.” The article goes on to claim that teaching the Quran in Xinjiang is punishable by up to ten years in prison, and that Muslim women caught wearing the hijab can be fined more than five times the average annual income of the area. Al-Qaeda also claims that following its takeover of the mainland in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party murdered some 4.5 million Muslims in Xinjiang. The group further claims that China has conducted no less than 35 nuclear weapon tests in Xinjiang and the radioactive fallout from these are estimated to have killed 200,000 Muslims. In 1998 alone, the article adds 20,000 babies were born deformed in Xinjiang as a result of these nuclear tests. Although “10 Facts About East Turkistan” stops shorting of calling for jihad against China, the point is more directly articulated elsewhere in the first issue of Resurgence. For example, one article says that the “the victory of the Ummah” will be a “deathblow” and a “bitter defeat… for America, Iran, Russia, China and all those who have fought this war by proxy against Muslims.” In a particularly troubling article for China and other state actors, al-Qaeda calls on its followers to try to disrupt shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and Strait of Malacca, noting the waterways’ centrality for China and other Asian economies in particular. Al-Qaeda central’s sudden focus on China follows closely on the heels of the Islamic State also condemning Beijing for its handling of its Uyghur Muslim population. Back in July, IS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi gave a speech in which he argued “Muslim rights are forcibly seized in China, India, Palestine” and many other countries around the world. Later, IS released a map that outlined the borders of its envisioned Caliphate. Notably, Xinjiang province was included in the Caliphate. Chinese officials and local authorities have also noted an uptick in the number of Chinese nationals travelling to the Middle East to fight or train alongside militant groups in the region. The last year has also seen a sharp uptick in the frequency and sophistication of domestic terrorist attacks inside China, which the government blames on disgruntled Uyghurs. (http://thediplomat.com/2014/10/al-qaeda-declares-war-on-china-too/)
India – Global terror organisations like al-Qaeda are likely to forge alliance with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) to launch multi city-multiple attacks on India, J N Choudhury, DG of counter-terror force, National Security Guard (NSG), revealed on the 16 Oct 14. Choudhury, who had earlier served in the Intelligence Bureau, pointed out that several terror groups like Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) and Indian Mujahideen (IM), which are already active in India, may be used by al-Qaeda for logistical support. “Now that they (al-Qaeda) have declared their intention to attack India, they will obviously align with the known groups we have – whether it is LeT, JeM or IM. So the apprehension we have is that if they do have a combined kind of strategy or combined operations, we have to prepared and be alert if a combined group takes action. Then there is a threat and possibility of a multi-city multiple attacks. That is what we are preparing for and hence we are also working with anti-terrorist forces and state police forces,” Choudhury said. As reported on the 12 Oct 14 al-Qaeda’s Indian subcontinent branch senior leader Imran Ali alias Haji Shaikh Waliullah, who was recently killed in a US drone attack, had formed a HuM offshoot, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen al-Almi (HuMa) to support al-Qaeda’s terror activities in Pakistan. HuM was responsible for the hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight IC814 in Dec 99. The group headed by Fazlur Rehman Khalil has strong ties with Taliban’s fugitive supreme spiritual leader Mullah Omar and sometimes it operates under ‘Jamiat-ul-Ansar’ (JuA) pseudonym to disguise its involvement in terror strikes in Jammu & Kashmir. Intelligence sources said al-Qaeda Amir Ayman al Zawahiri, while announcing the formation of al-Qaeda on the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) in early Sep 14 had confirmed that AQIS was formed by bringing together several Jihadi groups. (Source: www.newindianexpress.com)
J&K Militants Al-Qaeda Recruits?
Chapter 2 of Ghazwat-ul-Hind, published by al- Qaeda in Aug 14 had claimed that the AQIS has many Mujahideen, that has previously fought in Kashmir and some of them were commanders who were proved to be among the best Guerrilla fighters. A document seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound had revealed that a-Qaeda commander Badr Mansoor, a close aide of Laden, had recruited jihadis from Kashmir and Hakart-ul-Mujahideen. Arshad Waheed was responsible for the training of Qaeda men.
AUTHORITIES at Kochi airport in India's Kerala state reportedly received information of a possible improvised explosive device (IED) or suicide attack targeting Air India flights on Mumbai-Kochi and Ahmedabad-Mumbai routes, The Times of India reported. Reports added that security was increased at the airport and heightened measures would be in place until 27 Oct 14 when a review would take place.
Malaysia – Malaysian police on the 13 Oct 14 arrested 13 people on the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur in a counter-terrorism operation. The head of Malaysian police, Khalid Abu Bakar, said in a statement on the 15 Oct 14 that they were arrested on suspicion of having links with the Islamic State militant group and that they were planning to leave for Syria. However, none of the individuals arrested has been charged with any offences. The latest arrests mean that 36 people have been arrested this year for alleged activities linked to Islamic State. Based on available information, there is no suggestion that the individuals who were arrested earlier this week planned to carry out attacks in Malaysia.
Philippines – Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants in the Philippines holding two Germans said on the 17 Oct 14 they had received some of the ransom they had been demanding and would not kill one of the Germans as they had threatened to. The hostages, captured by militants of the Abu Sayyaf group in Apr 14 from a yacht on the high seas, were being held in the interior of the remote island of Jolo, 600 miles (960 km) south of Manila. Al Kataib, a man who described himself as an associate of militant spokesman Abu Rami, said in a telephone call to reporters in Zamboanga City that the group got a portion of the 250 million Philippine pesos ($5.56 million) they had been demanded by the 17 Oct and "would not touch" the German they had threatened to behead. He declined to say how much money they had got, or give details about who had paid it. A government official confirmed that the German man had not been killed. The official, who was privy to the negotiations with the rebels, said about 60 million pesos had been paid. The remainder would be delivered after more talks, the official said. The Abu Sayyaf, which says it supports Islamic State fighters in the Middle East, and had also demanded that Germany stops supporting U.S.-led air strikes on Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria. German government sources said that Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had sent a special envoy to the Philippines to negotiate the deal. The envoy, Ruediger Koenig, had arrived in Manila, the sources said on the evening of the 16 Oct.