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UPDATED: July 19, 2015 NO. 23 JUNE 5, 2014
Counter Terror
Efforts to root out religious extremism and terrorism are increasing
By Yin Pumin

TIGHTENED SECURITY: Two armed police officers patrol a subway station in Beijing on May 23 (LI WEN)

Four of the suspects—Memet Memtimin, Raghimjan Memet, Memtimin Mahmat and Ablet Abdukadir—died during the attack and were identified by their DNA. The fifth suspect, Nurahmat Ablipiz, was caught by the police on May 22 in Bayingolin Mongolia Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang.

The suspects had long been influenced by religious extremism, the statement said.

It was also revealed that the five men took part in illegal religious activities, as well as watched and listened to video and audio recordings that encouraged and sought to instigate violent attacks. At the end of 2013, they formed a terrorist gang. They made explosive devices, bought vehicles and chose the location of the attack before the killing on May 22.

After the attack, Xinjiang residents from different ethnic groups expressed their strong condemnation of terrorists, saying that they would not fear violence and would not allow the thugs to achieve their goal.

Tian Jufeng, a 79-year-old man of Han descent, was injured in the blast. He said he believes central and regional authorities will deal with the case effectively.

Tian's wife, Wang Shuying, said that they have spent most of their life in Xinjiang and love the area. "We won't be scared away," Wang added.

Alif Memet, a community official in Urumqi, said that he was saddened to hear that most of the victims in the attack were senior citizens. "I believe the incident has shocked every resident in Xinjiang. We need to enhance our awareness of terrorism and improve our self-defense capability," Memet noted.

According to Rezya Habas, Deputy Director of the Road Building and Management Bureau of Urumqi, the attack tramples on the rule of law. He said that any people with a conscience would never tolerate such behavior and called the terrorists a common enemy to mankind.

"Terrorist attacks cannot scare us but will instead unite us even further," said Ayiguli Yimiti, a nurse with the First Aid Center of Urumqi.


On May 25, the Ministry of Public Security announced the start of a yearlong anti-terror operation throughout China.

The ministry asked the Xinjiang police and their counterparts across the rest of the country to cooperate and launch a strong, joint offensive against terrorism in order to stop terrorists from striking again and to prevent the forces of terrorism and religious extremism from spreading out of the region.

Under a preemptive strategy, police nationwide will pool their information for early identification of terrorist groups and their members, the ministry said, while emphasizing that the police's crackdown should only target terrorists and religious extremists and protect the legal rights and interests of ethnic minorities.

In line with arrangements of the Ministry of Public Security, police have stepped up armed patrols and security control at crowded public places across China and tightened the management of explosives and weapons.

"Once an emergency happens, nearby armed police can arrive at the area within only one minute," said Zhang Bing, Deputy Director of Beijing Public Security Bureau, on May 22.

In Xinjiang, an all-out anti-terror campaign was launched even earlier on May 23. According to the local police, the campaign will last until June 2015. It will focus on terrorists and religious extremist groups, illegal gun and explosive manufacturing dens and terrorist training camps.

Soon after its launch, it has seen the apprehension of the first batch of terror suspects.

The regional authorities announced that the police busted an alleged terror and extremist group led by Abliz Dawut in south Xinjiang's Hotan Prefecture on May 26, seizing 1.8 tons of material for use in explosive devices and apprehending five suspects.

Abliz and his gang members are suspected of making detonation devices the night after the attack in Urumqi on May 22 and premeditating a similar terror attack in crowded locations in Hotan, said a police statement.

On the same day, similar raids were also carried out in Xinjiang's Aksu, Kashgar and Ili prefectures, leading to the arrest of a group of suspects allegedly involved in terrorist attacks, the dissemination of illegal pro-terrorist multimedia, the illegal production of explosives and illegal immigration.

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