31-Dec-11 World View: Armed Clashes with Uighurs in China's Xinjiang Province

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • Iran to test long-range missiles in Gulf in final phase of war games
  • Danger to Kharg Island tells traders that Iran is bluffing
  • Boko Haram terrorists attack mosque in northern Nigeria
  • Armed clashes with Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang province
  • Uighur terrorist Abdul Shakoor Turkistani leads jihad for united ‘Turkistan’
  • Spain’s 2011 budget deficit much worse than expected

Iran to test long-range missiles in Gulf in final phase of war games


American aircraft carrier, thought to be the USS John C Stennis, photographed by Iran during war games (AFP)
American aircraft carrier, thought to be the USS John C Stennis, photographed by Iran during war games (AFP)

“On Saturday morning the Iranian navy will test several of its long-range missiles in the Persian Gulf,” says Admiral Mahmoud Moussavi, deputy commander of Iran’s navy. The missiles tests are part of ongoing navy maneuvers in the Persian Gulf in the main and final phase in preparing the navy for confronting the enemy in a warlike situation. This comes a day after Iran’s navy said a US aircraft carrier entered a zone where the war games were in progress. Iran Independent News Service and Telegraph

Danger to Kharg Island tells traders that Iran is bluffing

The recent rise in oil prices show that traders are betting that Iran’s threats to shut the Strait of Hormuz are bluffs. Closing the Strait of Hormuz would also disrupts Iran’s own ports. One of Iran’s biggest export terminals, Kharg Island, lies deep within the Gulf. It was a frequent target during the 1984-88 Iran-Iraq Tanker War, when the two nations regularly attacked each other’s oil shipments, and it would be vulnerable again in a new confrontation. Market Watch

Boko Haram terrorists attack mosque in northern Nigeria


Mosque blasted in Maiduguri (BBC)
Mosque blasted in Maiduguri (BBC)

Apparently Boko Haram are equal opportunity terrorists. After attacking several churches on Christmas day, killing at least 42 people, on Friday they they bombed an area near a mosque in Maiduguri in northern Nigeria just as people were leaving from Friday prayers. At least four people were killed. The Boko Haram group originated in Maiduguri, and has staged numerous terrorist attacks in the capital, Abuja. The leaders of Chad and Cameroon, which are close to Maiduguri, are reported to have held talks about how they can help prevent the violence spreading across their borders. BBC

Armed clashes with Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang province

There have been a resurgence of armed clashes between security forces and ethnic Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang province, which has been the site of violent riots in the past. According to the official Chinese reports, on Wednesday evening, a group of Uighur “violent terrorists” kidnapped two Uighur shepherds who were tending their sheep, and then hacked to death a police officer sent to negotiate with them. One officer and seven Uighurs were killed. But according to the Munich-based World Uighur Congress, the incident was a confrontation between Uigurs and local police prompted by mounting discontent over government repression. According to a Congress spokesman, the Chinese recently began a 100-day “strike hard” anti-terror campaign in Xinjiang, arresting Uighurs and raiding their homes for evidence. Beijing has often said that its primary terrorism threat comes from the Xinjiang region, where Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim people, oppose Chinese rule and controls on their religion, culture and language. South China Morning Post and Radio Free Asia

Uighur terrorist Abdul Shakoor Turkistani leads jihad for united ‘Turkistan’


Abdul Shakoor Turkistani, as he appears in online videos
Abdul Shakoor Turkistani, as he appears in online videos

With his predecessor killed last year by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan, Abdul Shakoor Turkistani has become the new “Amir” of the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP). In addition to leading the jihad against the Chinese state over the “occupation” of Xinjiang, his goal is to make Xinjiang part of a greater Central Asian caliphate called Turkistan, a name which refers to the Turkic ethnic groups that populate the region, including the Uighurs, Uzbeks, Karkalpaks, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Turkmen and Tatars. According to Abdul Shakoor, every Chinese policy “is aimed at undermining the identity and the conservative traditions of the Muslims.” These policies include:

  • Mandatory education, which he says has caused the apostasy of Muslims from their religion;
  • The policy of enforced bilingual education (Mandarin Chinese is required for Uighurs).
  • The emigration of Muslim females from Xinjiang to the “Chinese region,” which is usually related to finding employment.
  • The policy of birth control, which he describes as “threatening.”
  • The policy of densely settling in the Chinese in the Muslim population, which he says has led to the marginalization of the Muslims.
  • The policy of looting and transporting out Turkistan resources by “night and day.”
  • The testing of nuclear weapons in Xinjiang.

Abdul Shakoor has become one of the highest ranking al-Qaeda figures in the region. Since he operates out of Pakistan’s tribal areas, China’s intelligence agents will certainly be hunting for him there, with or without the full cooperation of Pakistan. Jamestown

Spain’s 2011 budget deficit much worse than expected


Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria (EITB)
Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria (EITB)

Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría announced on Friday that the country’s public deficit would total 8% of GDP, much higher than the target of 6%. In response, she announced tough new austerity measures, including income and property tax hikes, and a civil servant wage freeze. The conservative government, which swept to victory in November amid dissatisfaction over the Socialists’ handling of the financial crisis, have pledged to turn the economy around while reforming a broken labour market and pulling the country out of a prolonged slump. EITB (Spain)

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