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Turkestan Islamic Movement

Shanghai Bus Explosion claimed by Turkestan Islamic Party

Kaiser Kuo just broadcast over Twitter that an Uighur separatist group
(Turkestan Islamic Party, which may or may not be the same as East Turkestan
Islamic Movement or ETIM) has taken credit for the deadly bombing of Shanghai
bus route #842 I posted earlier this past May.

In a video statement, Commander Seyfullah of the Turkestan Islamic Party
claimed credit for several attacks, including the May 5 Shanghai bus bombing
which killed three; another Shanghai attack; an attack on police in Wenzhou on
July 17 using an explosive-laden tractor; a bombing of a Guangzhou plastic
factory on July 17; and bombings of three buses in Yunnan province on July 21.

Three people were killed as a result of the explosion on the crowded bus in
Shanghai on May 5, police and witnesses said.

The incident occurred during the morning traffic rush hour in northwest
Shanghai and also left 12 people injured.

At the time, authorities attributed the blast to flammable materials carried by a

But Seyfullah said the blast was the work of his group and warned of more
explosions to come.

…read the rest.

I quickly questioned the “official story” given by Chinese authorities after the
incident that the bus merely caught fire. While I fully understand the idea that we
don’t want to cause needless panic amongst the citizenry, I (and a lot of
Shanghainese) do feel a bit vindicated that the truth has come out…of course,
provided the Turkestan Islamic Party isn’t just misappropriating credit.

In light of this, I do feel a bit for the Chinese central government, dealing with
“splittists” and “terrorists” on one side while having to fend off the constant

criticisms of “the West” on the other. But hey, welcome to the big leagues, China.
Please take a seat next to the United States. There’s always a price to pay for
greatness, everyone pays it, and “harmonious, peaceful China” is no exception.

I’m curious how this might (or if it will) play out in China’s domestic media. Let
me know in the comments if you see any news reports on this.

7/26 UPDATE from Elliott:

via Kaiser Kuo of Digital Watch, here is what is supposed to be the Turkestan
Islamic Party’s video (Arabic) claiming responsibility:

7/26 UPDATE from Elliott:

The (via Reuters) reports the denial of Chinese authorities that
the May 5 bus explosion was not the work of this group:

Chinese authorities denied claims by a group calling itself the Turkistan Islamic
Party that it was responsible for deadly bus explosions in Shanghai and Yunnan
province ahead of the Olympic Games, the official Xinhua news agency reported
on Saturday.
The group released a video threatening the Beijing Olympic Games and claiming
responsibility for deadly bus explosions in Shanghai and in Yunnan’s Kunming, a
terrorism monitoring firm in Washington said on Friday.
But Xinhua reported that a police investigation of the Shanghai blast on May 5

had nothing to do with “terrorist attacks”.
The blast, which killed three people and wounded 12, was caused by
inflammables such as oil, Cheng Jiulong, Shanghai Municipal Public Security
Bureau deputy head, was quoted by Xinhua as saying.
“The blast was indeed deliberate but had nothing to do with terrorist attacks,” he

7/26 UPDATE from Elliott:

John Kennedy at Global Voices Online also posted on this and highlighted the
fact that the Turkestan Islamic Party may not actually be ETIM, the East
Turkestan Islamic Movement. Also, he posts what may be a translation to the
video, also posted on the IntelCenter website:

恐怖份子 Turkistan Islamic Party Commander Seyfullah: “Our damullah, Abdul
Heq, made his final order to the [person] responsible for the military regarding
the issue of severely attacking all central cities in inner China, particularly
focusing on eight cities that are going to hold Olympic games. … ask our merciful
Allah to allow these brothers and sisters [suicide bombers] to deal a fatal blow in
this jihad against Chinese & we ask our merciful Allah to completely stop Olympic
Games. … Bomb Chinese government buildings, military barracks, airplanes,
airports, railways, hotels, entertainment venues, tourist spots and similar
places…You’re even permitted to use biological weapons this time.”
Hopefully, this topic will not become too sensitive such that this post gets blocked

Comment by Commander Seyfullashit on 2008-07-27 04:53:49

There are only 7 cities in China that will hold Olympic games, not eight. (Beijing,
Qingdao, Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Shenyang, Shanghai, Hong Kong) Kunming is
not an Olympic co-host city. The idiot in the video doesn’t know what he’s talking