Xinjiang bid to curb terrorist attacks

Xinjiang bid to curb terrorist attacks

Public security forces in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region have stepped up efforts to regulate the spread of religious extremism online in an effort to curb terrorist attacks.

The Xinjiang Public Security Bureau has handled an increasing number of cases in which individuals have posted or searched for religious extremist content on the Internet during the past three years, an anonymous source at the bureau told Xinjiang Daily.

Some even plot terrorist attacks online and later put their plans into action, the source said, without giving the exact number.

The source also said that most of the people who spread religious extremism online are unemployed and have a limited education no higher than junior high school or even primary school.

From June 26 to Aug 31, 139 people across Xinjiang were arrested for spreading religious extremism including jihad, or what extremist Muslims commonly call "holy war", police said.

Ma Pinyan, a senior anti-terrorism researcher and deputy director of the ethnic and religious study centre at the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, said the penetration of religious extremism in China has led to increased attacks in Xinjiang, so the spread of such information must be curbed.

Xinjiang police said the leader of the gang that carried out an attack on June 26 in Lukqun, Turpan prefecture, which resulted in 35 deaths, arranged for members to watch videos promoting religious extremism.

Police also found that members of a terrorist cell formed in September 2012 in Selibuya, a township in Kashgar prefecture, regularly attended meetings where they viewed and listened to materials relating to religious extremism and terrorism.

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