Curt, Mike’s A and myself have all posted on the fate of the Gitmo Uighurs. You remember them, right? Those “innocents” types who just happened to have the misfortune of parking their butts in an AQ terror training camp, but really had no ties to AQ and were deemed not a threat to the US?
When Obama… desperate to find them homes… parked them in Bermuda where they plan to open the first Uighur restaurant, I found myself pondering what anyone had to lose in today’s economic environment by enrolling in a terror camp in hopes of being relocated to an island paradise on the taxpayers’ dime.
Well, evidently AQ takes care of “their own”… even when “their own” insist upon distancing themselves after time in Gitmo. Today Jane Maccartney reports in the London Times al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), has publicly thrown in their support with the Uighurs against China, citing Beijing’s treatment of Muslim Uighurs. And just as America has found itself in the position of choosing sides between warring tyrants before … as the Dems love to remind us that the US supported Saddam in the past against Iran… we once again find ourselves watching a battle between two extremely unsavory elements.
al Qaeda… brave fighters that they are… haven’t changed their MO. They aren’t taking the battlefield to the Chinese mainland, but instead issue their threats against Chinese citizens in North Africa.
Al-Qaeda has issued its first threat against China with a vow to attack Chinese workers in North Africa in retaliation for Beijing’s treatment of Muslim Uighurs.
The threat, issued by the Algeria-based al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), highlights the risks faced by China as it expands its economic investments overseas.
“Although AQIM appear to be the first arm of al-Qaeda to officially state they will target Chinese interests, others are likely to follow,” an intelligence report from Stirling Assynt, a London-based risk analysis firm, says.
The warning followed deadly unrest in China’s westernmost region of Xinjiang last week, when 184 people died and 1,680 were injured — most of them Han Chinese killed by Uighurs.
Granted, it’s hard to pick a side to support here. Other than listening to SOS Hillary, triaging China’s human rights record to a lower level in order to insure the money flow for Obama’s eye popping spending, there’s little that is defensible about China’s treatment of their citizens… regardless of their religion. Certainly Chinese Muslims can claim no monopoly on oppression.
On the flip side, one can’t legitimately throw any kudos to AQ for involving themselves in the Chinese Muslim battles either. It’s not like they’ve got a human rights record to stand on either.
Instead what now becomes a bizarre twist of alliances, AQ plans to “aid” the Uighurs by setting their sights on 50,000 Chinese workers in Algeria, as well as Chinese projects and workers across northwest Africa…. including Nigeria, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
AQ remains consistent in their chosen warfare that singles out terrorizing citizens intead of military personnel. But they started out slow on wasting human lives with their first attack three weeks ago, issuing a warning first.
Three weeks ago, AQIM attacked an Algerian security convoy protecting Chinese engineers on a motorway project, killing 24 paramilitary police. While the Chinese were not injured, the assessment notes: “Future attacks are likely to target security forces and Chinese engineers alike.”
Qin Gang, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that the Government remained opposed to all forms of terrorism. “We will keep a close eye on developments and make efforts with relevant countries to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of overseas Chinese institutions and people.”
According to the Times article, western counter-terrorism experts have been keeping a careful eye on the developments, and believe it’s enjoyed a boost because of the AQ affiliated fighters leaving Iraq, and seriously in need of a new blood lust cause they have a better chance of winning. And this could be the global PR boost they need to correct their brutal murders of Iraqi Muslim, which was broadcast world wide for years.
Oddly enough, this turn of events for a battle manifesting between two unsympathetic factions, neither with respect for human rights and freedom, may put Obama in a position that resembles his erroneous call on Honduras… where he sides with Venezuela’s leftist despot, Chavez. Only in this case, he’ll find himself in the same camp as al Qaeda.
Without naming names, al Jazeera brings this embarrassing possibility to light in an interview with Rebiya Kadeer - a leading Uighur rights activist. Key is her criticism of Muslim countries, silent on Chinese Muslim’s treatment at the hands of Beijing…. and her demand the sympathetic US intercede on behalf of the Uighurs in China.
Speaking after a day of unrest in Xinjiang left at least 150 people dead, Kadeer pointed to the lack of response from Muslim countries to the violence and the situation faced by the Uighurs.
“Muslim countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and a number of other Muslim countries as well as the central Asian states like Kazakhstan Kurdistan and Uzbekistan – they all deported Uighurs who had fled Chinese persecution for peacefully opposing Chinese rule, for writing something, for speaking something,” she said.
“Those sent back to China were either killed or sentenced to life in jail.”
She said the lack of action from Muslim countries contrasted with support given by other governments.
“Our only friend is in the West – Western democracies are supporting us and we are very grateful,” Kadeeer, who heads the World Uighur Congress, told reporters.~~~
“We hope that the United Nations, the United States and the European Union will send teams to investigate what really took place in Xinjiang,” she said.
“We hope the White House will issue a stronger statement urging the Chinese government to show restraint, and also to tell the truth of the nature of the events and what happened, and to tell the Chinese government to redress Uighur grievances.”
Two things are obvious from these events. China, heretofore relatively immune and disinterested in the west’s battle with the jihad movements, now finds itself a target along with the rest of us. And Obama? He’s no stranger to odd bedfellows already early in his term… But now he may find himself aligned with the strangest bedfellow of all… America’s #1 targeted enemy.