China clamps on 'jihadi migration' at SW border
Updated: 2015-01-20 22:21
NANNING - Violence in the name of "jihad" has emerged as a major threat along China's southwestern border, prompting a crack down on illegal immigration since last May, according to China's police authorities.
Just two days ago, Chinese police shot dead two illegal immigrants who attacked them with knives in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region that borders Vietnam.
Police found five illegal immigrants on Sunday in Pingxiang city, but they resisted capture. Two were shot dead and two others were apprehended at the scene. The other fled but was captured on Monday.
It is the instant case following a campaign by the Ministry of Public Security against "jihadi migration", a step for terrorist training abroad in the disguise of religion.
To date in the current campaign, local police have busted 262 human smuggling cases, seizing 352 suspects who allegedly organized such activities and 852 suspects who attempted to cross the border illegally.
Unlike human smuggling in general terms, such activities in southwestern regions carry obvious features of terrorism. According to local police, most immigrants, influenced by the thoughts of religious extremism, were ready to participate in "jihad" abroad.
Based on joint operations among provinces across China and cooperation with southeast Asian countries, several cells have been busted, which has gone someway to contain the rampant situation in the region.
The special campaign mainly focuses on three kinds of crime offenders, namely organizers, traffickers, drivers and guides. Police named the East Turkistan Islamic Movement as a key player behind those activities by spreading extremism, organizing "jihad" and providing illegal immigration channels.
A source in the police said organizers often planted an ex-convict or an outlaw in a group of immigrants. It was them who urged the rest to wage "jihad" at home when they were inspected or arrested.
Sun Xiaoying, an expert on Southeast Asia, said such illegal migration involves more than one country, which means stowaways could be arrested anywhere and sent back. "It was a mission impossible for most people."
"And the destination is by no means heaven, males are most likely to end up as 'cannon fodder' on battlefield, young females are deprived of even the slightest human rights, and old, weak, ill ones will be abandoned before they can have a look at the organization," Sun said.
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