How safe are the Olympic Games in Beijing from terrorist attacks? Chinese officials have warned that Islamic separatists are the biggest threat to the Olympics. In fact, an Islamic group has indeed threatened attacks urging Muslims to stay away from events there. They have recently released a video which you can watch below.

The threat, attributed to the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), is contained in a new video which shows a burning Olympics logo and an explosion imposed over a venue to be used for the Beijing Games. It claims the communist regime’s alleged mistreatment of Muslims justifies holy war.

The TIP is an ethnic Uighur and Muslim organization that is seeking to create an independent state in China’s heavily Muslim Xinjiang province. The terrorist group is believed to be based across the border in Pakistan, where security experts say it has received training from al Qaeda.

The video is called “Call to the Global Muslim Nation” and was picked up by two US terrorism monitoring firms – the SITE Intelligence Group and IntelCenter. Here are excerpts from the tape:

“Do not stay on the same bus, on the same train, on the same plane, in the same buildings, or any place the Chinese are.”

A speaker then appears on the video holding an AK-47 assault rifle and wearing a black turban and face cover.

He speaks in front of a black banner carrying the words in Arabic: “There is no God other than Allah, Mohammad is the messenger of God”.

The speaker calls on Muslims to offer support financially, physically, spiritually and verbally.

“China … rejects Islam and forces Muslims into atheism by capturing and killing Islamic teachers and destroying Islamic schools,” he says.

Even before this particular threat, Chinese officials had transformed Beijing into a giant fortress - um, even more so then it was I suppose. Surface-to-air missiles take aim at the sky above the Olympic stadiums; surveillance cameras mounted on light poles and trash cans scanning sidewalks; an anti-terror force of 100,000 commandos, paramilitary police and soldiers; another 100,000 police officers, and 200,000 security guards will patrol the streets during the Olympics. There will also be a substantial Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) presence, including the deployment of fighter jets, helicopters, warships, surface-to-air missiles and bio-warfare units.

Ordinary civilians have been called on to strengthen the security of the games: hundreds of thousands of middle-age and elderly residents wearing red armbands, reminiscent of the zealous Red Guard youth from decades ago, now patrol neighborhoods looking for even a “slightly suspicious act or person.”

Human Rights advocates accuse the Chinese government of using the pretext of terrorism to silence dissent and clamp down on ethnic minority groups. Some security experts say many of the surveillance measures will probably stay in place after the Games, to bolster the reach of the communist authorities.

To hear the Chinese officials tell it, the threats come from an incredible array of malcontents: groups advocating independence in the western autonomous regions of Xinjiang and Tibet, followers of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, Al Qaeda, and a whole bunch of unstable individuals.

Experts on terrorism say the extensive preparations are among the most comprehensive of any Games and may be enough to discourage any attacks in the capital. But China still faces a risk of terrorist attacks elsewhere during the Games, particularly after recent incidents outside of Beijing.

In the first half of 2008, 82 people were arrested in Xinjiang Province alone, in connection with terrorist plots aimed at the Olympics.


“Turkestan Islamic Party Releases Olympics Threat” Video